A mountaintop experience
In Syria, the Jinishian Memorial Program (JMP) operates under the sponsorship of the Armenian Apostolic, Catholic and Protestant church denominations. The summer camps organized by the JMP in Syria are some of the most gratifying services that touch the lives of more than 100 children and several JMP staff and volunteers each year. The camps take place during the month of July and last up to 15 days. The program includes educational, spiritual and recreational components as well as three balanced meals per day. The summer camps seek to give respite to undernourished children between the ages of 8 and 13 from their onerous lives.
At the end of the Aleppo camp, a volunteer shared a testimonial from a 9-year-old boy. Every day at camp, the boy wished to have private time to sit and stare out at the mountains. He preferred to be alone when all the other children were in their rooms during the noon rest hour. When asked why he chose to sit alone outside, he said he had never seen a real mountain before, only in pictures. He had never been outside his neighborhood, which is in a densely populated and desertlike area. He never dreamed he would see real mountains or have the opportunity to walk in nature among trees and grass. That same evening he volunteered to offer prayer during the evening gathering. He thanked God wholeheartedly for God’s beautiful Creation, the Earth, and thanked God that he had this chance to enjoy it.
There were many more inspiring experiences during the camps. JMP strongly believes that God works through staff, volunteers, and community to reach out to children and to all humankind.
Country Director, Syria
Jinishian Memorial Program