Lectionary Selection: Matthew 5: 1-1
Prayers for Armenia:
Dear Jesus, as you go up to the mountain, we pray that every person in Armenia looks to you and listens to you. We pray that the Holy Spirit unites Armenians and helps them to build peaceful relations with neighboring enemies, Azerbaijan and Turkey. Protect Armenia’s young people from war and save them also from the wars within themselves and their families. We pray for solidarity among the Armenian people, that they encourage and support each other and find joy in being peacemakers, in being humble and merciful and pure of heart. If we cannot make peace within our own marriages, families, and countries, what is the meaning of praying for peace between nations? We pray that Armenia’s political leaders are moved by your Holy Spirit to end their greed and corruption. We pray that the government take serious steps to improve the economy, create jobs and provide salaries that sustain people. We pray for continued support of Global Ministries. We pray that partner’s staff and pastors in Armenia be sincere and humble and carry out their work in the spirit of Christ. We pray for Armenia, the first country to claim Christianity as its state religion. We pray that each person be filled with the desire to know and seek after the heart of God on a personal level. We pray for the work of the Armenian Missionary Association of America (AMAA) and that it continue to bring social and material support for Armenian children in need, the elderly, and people with special mental and physical needs. God continue to encourage all Armenian people by showing them the love and kindness of Jesus Christ. Amen
Mission Stewardship Moment from Armenia:
The Khatoyev family has endured great hardship over the years. Their problems intensified when the father, Robert, almost became blind due to a lack of money to treat his condition. Robert could no longer continue his work as a craftsman and the family is now barely surviving. Robert, his wife, son Georgi(12), daughter Emanuella(8) and another adult daughter rent a tiny apartment and their only possessions are a few items of clothing each and some bedding. The family’s income can barely cover their basic needs. The children’s clothing is worn out and unsuitable for Armenia’s extreme winters.
The children have educational, psychological and social problems at school which have caused Georgi to switch schools four times even though he is only in 5th grade. He often misses school because he is providing care for his near-blind father and this has put him far behind other students. Georgi accompanies his father everywhere and prepares his meals. He also tries to help his family by going to the forest to pick greens and berries to eat.
AMAA’s Child Sponsorship Program has given the family renewed hope. In September 2012, the program opened the Shogh Day Center to help children coming from underprivileged families overcome social and educational challenges and break the cycle of poverty. This year, Georgi and Emanuella enrolled in the Shogh Day Center in Vanadzor.
Since September, they attend Shogh every day after school. They receive a healthy and hot meal and then the children begin the individualized programs that have been designed specifically for them, including tutoring, help with homework, group and individual social and psychological work, dance, music, drawing and crafting classes. The Shogh Center offers Georgie the help and hope he needs to have a better life and greater ability to help his family in the future.
(Prayer and Mission Moment by Gabrielle Worley)
Mission Partners in Armenia:
Union of Armenian Evangelical Churches in the Near East
More information on Armenia:
Global Ministries Missionary in Armenia:
Gabrielle Worley is a member of First United Church, Oak Park, Illinois, and St. John Syrian Orthodox Church, Villa Park, Illinois. She serves as a Global Mission Intern with the Armenian Protestant community, Yerevan, Armenia. She teaches English to Protestant pastors, middle school students of the Avedissian School and young adults at the Jinishian Leadership Center. She also assists in writing articles, reports and other forms of communication.