BY REV. SEROP AND ALINA MEGERDITCHIAN
We were pleased to be asked and were blessed to plan, organize and lead this year’s AMAA Summer Internship to Armenia.
The internship, which took place from July 4 – 19, had a specific theme—“Vision for Mission,”—was based on Acts 2:17, “Your young shall see vision.” The purpose of this year’s internship was to provide the youth of our churches from different parts of the world, including the United States, Canada, Australia, South America, Europe and the Middle East, the opportunity to learn about and appreciate many ministries of the Armenian Missionary Association of America and the Evangelical Churches of Armenia in the Homeland. The internship aims at providing a space for inters to achieve personal spiritual growth through daily biblical studies, discussion, prayer and evaluation sessions, as well as to discover our rich Armenian heritage, roots and legacy through exposure to some significant historical, religious and key cultural sites of our beloved Homeland.
The Interns accomplished these goals by dedicating their time to different types of services, such as visiting, cleaning houses, cooking, and having prayer time and lunch with the lonely, elderly and needy families in Vanadzor and Shiragamout, assisting at Vacation Bible School for children and children with special needs in Vanadzor, making jam (Mourabba) for Shogh Center’s kids in Vanadzor, and working with children at AMAA’s Sheen Shoghig Camp in Hankavan.
Fifteen interns from eight countries bonded with one another other—as one family—and each day actively participated in the program and praised God for witnessing AMAA’s and ECA’s ministries for the children, youth, adult, elderly and needy of Armenia.
Interns toured significant AMAA ministries such as AMAA’s Avedisian School and the Shogh Day Centers. They met with local church pastors and congregations supported by the AMAA through the network of the Evangelical Church of Armenia. They had the opportunity to spend two days working alongside leaders at AMAA’s Sheen Shoghig Camp in Hankavan. They spent five days doing mission projects in Shriagamout and Vanadzor and they also visited cultural sites to discover their rich, Armenian cultural roots.
We would like to commend the interns for having the vision and implementing it through mission and, with their own money, sponsoring a child at Shogh Day Center in Vanadzor.
Also, we would like to commend the interns for sharing their pictures and writing their thoughts, reflections and daily activities and ministries on AMAA’s Intern’s Blog page.
The following are excerpts from the interns’ experiences.
Sarin Tashjian: “For me the Internship was such a great experience. I was able to meet new people and become closer with them. It was an incredible experience, and I think everyone should experience this amazing trip and learn new things like I did. Thank you for everything.”
George Al Sahili: “During the Internship, I was so impressed by what AMAA ministries accomplish in Armenia, as well as by how the churches, against all odds, strive to serve the Lord using every resource no matter how small.”
Avedis Zeitounilian: “Over the two weeks, we witnessed both the tourist version of Armenia and the real cities of Armenia. I learned about the different AMAA services. It was an experience that I’ve never had before, and I am already recommending this trip to others so they can experience what I have seen.”
Vahé Jebejian: “The Internship was truly enriching and life-giving. I left the internship with a sense of fulfillment, being blessed spiritually and relationally. I was glad to see the good work done by the AMAA in Armenia. I am looking forward to seeing how I can be a part of that.”
James Bederian: “I participated in the AMAA Summer Internship 2019 for two main reasons: first to see my Homeland, and second to serve God in my Homeland. In our short two weeks of living and communicating with the people of Armenia, I learned a lot about how to be a better version of myself.”
Jack Mousa Oghli: “I had an amazing experience during AMAA Summer Internship 2019. I’ve learned so many lessons during the Internship, that no matter what our situation in life, our faith and hope gets stronger by believing in God, because He will be with us every time we need Him.”
Christine Kutlu: “The Internship was a well-planned mission project. It was strategically designed to begin the trip by touring the beautiful areas of Armenia, display Armenia’s reality through missionary work in the middle, and end with a fun cultural education. We learned how much the AMAA is doing for the Armenian people through educational, evangelical and humanitarian programs.”
Mariano Gongora: “I give thanks for enjoying the amazing and ancient culture of Armenia and at the same time to share and spend time with those who need company, a piece of bread, or even a smile. During these weeks we learned a lot of things, but overall that no matter the situations we are going through we must know that God is always present.”
Talar Sarmazian: “Seeing the condition of people’s lives, and what work the AMAA does, I was really affected and wanted to do more for these people when I returned home. I enjoyed spending time with needy children and families, especially knowing that I was helping and making them happy.”
Zarmig Tashjian: “In this Internship I learned to always be thankful to God for what I have. I also learned to be a humble, loving and caring person. AMAA’s ministries and this year’s Internship will always be in my memory and I will practice what I learned in my daily life.”
Serly Purzekian: “I am very thankful that the AMAA gave me this opportunity to participate in this Internship. I never knew how much they do for these people. This trip inspired me to be a better person and always be grateful for what I have.”
Hovig Bardakjian: “The Internship was a wonderful experience that I was able to share my testimony with them, talk about God and His love for us and have prayer time together. I want to thank the AMAA for everything they did for us and for every single project they have to help our people.”
AMAA Summer Internship 2019 was a very good experience to see the love of God by serving and helping as one body in Christ. I learned what the AMAA is doing in Armenia. I learned to not take God and life for granted. Many thanks for this opportunity. Alicia Minasian
I am grateful I had the opportunity to be part of the AMAA Summer Internship 2019. I learned many new things about my Homeland Armenia, the people and their lifestyle. I want to thank the AMAA for this trip and for giving us the opportunity to see Armenia and for the work they do because it’s truly amazing and unbelievable. Karni Purzekian
The success of the AMAA Summer Internship relies heavily on the support, prayer, help and insight from the leadership at the AMAA Offices both in Paramus, New Jersey and Armenia. Special thanks to AMAA Executive Director/CEO Zaven Khanjian, AMAA-Armenia Representative Harout Nercessian, Senior Pastor Evangelical Church of Armenia Rev. Mgrditch Melkonian, Associate Pastor of Evangelical Church of Armenia in Yerevan Rev. Hovhannes Hovsepyan, AMAA-Yerevan Headquarters Office Administrator Anna Ohanyan, Vanadzor AMAA Office Administrator Janna Danielyan and AMAA’s PR/Communication’s Coordinator Louisa Janbazian for their continued willingness to make this program thrive for the benefit of our young Armenians all over the Diaspora.
Let us continue to pray that the good seeds planted in our interns’ lives, by God’s grace, may grow and bear fruits of lifelong “Vision for Mission.” May God continue to bless the AMAA and the Armenian Evangelical Church for His glory.
Rev. Serop Megerditchian is the Senior Pastor of the Armenian Cilicia Evangelical Church of Pasadena, CA.