Sharing the Light in the Dark of Night

The transcontinental region where Asia and Europe meet is full of Christian history. Mt. Ararat, located near the border between modern-day Turkey and Armenia, is the site of the first covenant between God and man when Noah’s ark landed there after the flood, and Armenia was the first nation in the world to adopt Christianity as its state religion in 301 A.D.

Rich with history, rife with conflict

Like so many other religiously significant areas, this region also has a history of conflict, persecution, and darkness. In 451 A.D., Persia invaded Armenia, attempting to convert Christians there to Zoroastrianism. After huge losses on both sides in the Battle of Avarayr, the Persian army left the country. Thirty-three years later, the two nations signed the Nvarsak Treaty, affirming Armenia’s right to practice Christianity freely.

During World War I, Armenian culture was systematically destroyed within the Ottoman Empire through the mass murder of over one million Armenians during death marches, as well as the forced Islamization of many Armenian women and children.

Today, the Armenian diaspora still faces many challenges. In 2020, Azerbaijan invaded the Republic of Artsakh, which is populated by Armenians, adding another chapter to Armenians’ long history of trauma. But God’s light is still shining, despite the tragedy this people group has experienced.

Armenian Haggai leader Dr. Syuzanna Voskanyan and the NGO she founded, the International Christian Medical Mission (ICMM), which has served people in poverty in Armenia since 2017, were perfectly positioned to share medical care as well as God’s love during the monthlong war.

“During the war, some of my Christian friends stood with ICMM, so we were able to provide free medical services to Artsakh immigrants and war-wounded soldiers, in addition to the needy people we already served,” says Dr. Voskanyan, a doctor of family medicine and kinesiotherapy. “The ones who came to us received not only medical care, but also spiritual support, and some are still in touch with us today — a flicker of light in the deep dark.”

Ending Gospel poverty in Armenia

After a long history of persecution and wars, Armenians are often skeptical. Despite their Christian history, many Armenians are only cultural Christians. How will a country full of wounded citizens learn about and embrace the light of the world?

“Because of Armenians’ trauma, people who want to share the Gospel here must reach wounded hearts and be compassionate,” Dr. Voskanya says. “Just speaking from the Bible is not enough. But when my people see good deeds being done and compassion being shown, they will open their closed hearts. They will listen to you speak of Jesus. Our medical missions are good tools to open doors, to knock on the doors of busy hearts, and to reach the needy.”

Dr. Voskanyan constantly prays for the salvation of her people, for Armenia to return to its Christian roots, and for God’s people to be a light for surrounding countries and the world. Her dream is to enact this vision by establishing a whole-person care and physical rehabilitation clinic that offers medical care as well as addressing psychological and spiritual needs.

“I eagerly wait for that time when Armenia will become a blessing for the nations, a refuge place for the persecuted Christians, and a light in the world,” she says. “We will witness God’s faithfulness to His people, who keep and exalt His Word.”

A lifestyle of love

Dr. Voskanyan says her equipping at Haggai helped her more fully grasp how to minister to people from all cultures and walks of life.

“We don’t change the message of the Good News; we just frame it so those we are reaching out to can better understand it, according to their cultural upbringing,” she says. “The better we understand their perspective, the better we can share Jesus.”

Haggai also affirmed her belief that sharing the Gospel, especially in places like Armenia, can’t be a one-time activity or an item on a to-do list — it must be a lifestyle.

“When one finds salvation through Christ, she wants to share that Good News about God’s love with others,” Dr. Voskanyan says. “The best way to share Christ in Armenia is through our Christian life, our love, our deeds, and His Word. It all starts with those little flickers of light.”

Published On: September 19th, 2022Categories: Middle East0 Comments

Sharing the Light in the Dark of Night

The transcontinental region where Asia and Europe meet is full of Christian history. Mt. Ararat, located near the border between modern-day Turkey and Armenia, is the site of the first covenant between God and man when Noah’s ark landed there after the flood, and Armenia was the first nation in the world to adopt Christianity as its state religion in 301 A.D.

Rich with history, rife with conflict

Like so many other religiously significant areas, this region also has a history of conflict, persecution, and darkness. In 451 A.D., Persia invaded Armenia, attempting to convert Christians there to Zoroastrianism. After huge losses on both sides in the Battle of Avarayr, the Persian army left the country. Thirty-three years later, the two nations signed the Nvarsak Treaty, affirming Armenia’s right to practice Christianity freely.

During World War I, Armenian culture was systematically destroyed within the Ottoman Empire through the mass murder of over one million Armenians during death marches, as well as the forced Islamization of many Armenian women and children.

Today, the Armenian diaspora still faces many challenges. In 2020, Azerbaijan invaded the Republic of Artsakh, which is populated by Armenians, adding another chapter to Armenians’ long history of trauma. But God’s light is still shining, despite the tragedy this people group has experienced.

Armenian Haggai leader Dr. Syuzanna Voskanyan and the NGO she founded, the International Christian Medical Mission (ICMM), which has served people in poverty in Armenia since 2017, were perfectly positioned to share medical care as well as God’s love during the monthlong war.

“During the war, some of my Christian friends stood with ICMM, so we were able to provide free medical services to Artsakh immigrants and war-wounded soldiers, in addition to the needy people we already served,” says Dr. Voskanyan, a doctor of family medicine and kinesiotherapy. “The ones who came to us received not only medical care, but also spiritual support, and some are still in touch with us today — a flicker of light in the deep dark.”

Ending Gospel poverty in Armenia

After a long history of persecution and wars, Armenians are often skeptical. Despite their Christian history, many Armenians are only cultural Christians. How will a country full of wounded citizens learn about and embrace the light of the world?

“Because of Armenians’ trauma, people who want to share the Gospel here must reach wounded hearts and be compassionate,” Dr. Voskanya says. “Just speaking from the Bible is not enough. But when my people see good deeds being done and compassion being shown, they will open their closed hearts. They will listen to you speak of Jesus. Our medical missions are good tools to open doors, to knock on the doors of busy hearts, and to reach the needy.”

Dr. Voskanyan constantly prays for the salvation of her people, for Armenia to return to its Christian roots, and for God’s people to be a light for surrounding countries and the world. Her dream is to enact this vision by establishing a whole-person care and physical rehabilitation clinic that offers medical care as well as addressing psychological and spiritual needs.

“I eagerly wait for that time when Armenia will become a blessing for the nations, a refuge place for the persecuted Christians, and a light in the world,” she says. “We will witness God’s faithfulness to His people, who keep and exalt His Word.”

A lifestyle of love

Dr. Voskanyan says her equipping at Haggai helped her more fully grasp how to minister to people from all cultures and walks of life.

“We don’t change the message of the Good News; we just frame it so those we are reaching out to can better understand it, according to their cultural upbringing,” she says. “The better we understand their perspective, the better we can share Jesus.”

Haggai also affirmed her belief that sharing the Gospel, especially in places like Armenia, can’t be a one-time activity or an item on a to-do list — it must be a lifestyle.

“When one finds salvation through Christ, she wants to share that Good News about God’s love with others,” Dr. Voskanyan says. “The best way to share Christ in Armenia is through our Christian life, our love, our deeds, and His Word. It all starts with those little flickers of light.”

Published On: September 19th, 2022Categories: Middle East0 Comments

Sharing the Light in the Dark of Night

The transcontinental region where Asia and Europe meet is full of Christian history. Mt. Ararat, located near the border between modern-day Turkey and Armenia, is the site of the first covenant between God and man when Noah’s ark landed there after the flood, and Armenia was the first nation in the world to adopt Christianity as its state religion in 301 A.D.

Rich with history, rife with conflict

Like so many other religiously significant areas, this region also has a history of conflict, persecution, and darkness. In 451 A.D., Persia invaded Armenia, attempting to convert Christians there to Zoroastrianism. After huge losses on both sides in the Battle of Avarayr, the Persian army left the country. Thirty-three years later, the two nations signed the Nvarsak Treaty, affirming Armenia’s right to practice Christianity freely.

During World War I, Armenian culture was systematically destroyed within the Ottoman Empire through the mass murder of over one million Armenians during death marches, as well as the forced Islamization of many Armenian women and children.

Today, the Armenian diaspora still faces many challenges. In 2020, Azerbaijan invaded the Republic of Artsakh, which is populated by Armenians, adding another chapter to Armenians’ long history of trauma. But God’s light is still shining, despite the tragedy this people group has experienced.

Armenian Haggai leader Dr. Syuzanna Voskanyan and the NGO she founded, the International Christian Medical Mission (ICMM), which has served people in poverty in Armenia since 2017, were perfectly positioned to share medical care as well as God’s love during the monthlong war.

“During the war, some of my Christian friends stood with ICMM, so we were able to provide free medical services to Artsakh immigrants and war-wounded soldiers, in addition to the needy people we already served,” says Dr. Voskanyan, a doctor of family medicine and kinesiotherapy. “The ones who came to us received not only medical care, but also spiritual support, and some are still in touch with us today — a flicker of light in the deep dark.”

Ending Gospel poverty in Armenia

After a long history of persecution and wars, Armenians are often skeptical. Despite their Christian history, many Armenians are only cultural Christians. How will a country full of wounded citizens learn about and embrace the light of the world?

“Because of Armenians’ trauma, people who want to share the Gospel here must reach wounded hearts and be compassionate,” Dr. Voskanya says. “Just speaking from the Bible is not enough. But when my people see good deeds being done and compassion being shown, they will open their closed hearts. They will listen to you speak of Jesus. Our medical missions are good tools to open doors, to knock on the doors of busy hearts, and to reach the needy.”

Dr. Voskanyan constantly prays for the salvation of her people, for Armenia to return to its Christian roots, and for God’s people to be a light for surrounding countries and the world. Her dream is to enact this vision by establishing a whole-person care and physical rehabilitation clinic that offers medical care as well as addressing psychological and spiritual needs.

“I eagerly wait for that time when Armenia will become a blessing for the nations, a refuge place for the persecuted Christians, and a light in the world,” she says. “We will witness God’s faithfulness to His people, who keep and exalt His Word.”

A lifestyle of love

Dr. Voskanyan says her equipping at Haggai helped her more fully grasp how to minister to people from all cultures and walks of life.

“We don’t change the message of the Good News; we just frame it so those we are reaching out to can better understand it, according to their cultural upbringing,” she says. “The better we understand their perspective, the better we can share Jesus.”

Haggai also affirmed her belief that sharing the Gospel, especially in places like Armenia, can’t be a one-time activity or an item on a to-do list — it must be a lifestyle.

“When one finds salvation through Christ, she wants to share that Good News about God’s love with others,” Dr. Voskanyan says. “The best way to share Christ in Armenia is through our Christian life, our love, our deeds, and His Word. It all starts with those little flickers of light.”

Published On: September 19th, 2022Categories: Middle East0 Comments

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