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For one Syrian young man, ‘life is full of hope’


Contributors Talin Topalakian and Cara Taylor

ALEPPO — Nazo Markarian is a university student in Aleppo, like many his family has endured severe hardship on every front. Yet throughout adolescence scarred by war, the Markarian family had the Jinishian Memorial Program alongside them, and young Nazo still believes that “life is full of hope.” As he said, “We never have to stop hoping and seeking for the better by God’s power.”

In Aleppo, life had not been looking hopeful for families like Nazo’s. After years of war and financial devastation, Nazo’s father, Sarkis, had two heart attacks in early 2017. The angiogram revealed that he had three blockages restricting blood flow to his heart.

Sarkis Markarian, with his wife and youngest child.

Sarkis’s wife was fearful and knew they needed help. Her husband was the only breadwinner in the family, and the cost of critical imported medical equipment was skyrocketing, due to devalued Syrian currency. She sought advice from a medical social worker with the Jinishian Memorial Program (JMP) in Aleppo.

JMP pledged to help share medical expenses and referred the Markarians to other organizations. The family thanked God for a successful surgery, and JMP started to assist Sarkis with his new medications. Because of JMP’s longstanding record of service and cooperation locally, they can lead joint efforts with ease and network to help others.

“Life is full of hope,” he says. “We never have to stop hoping and seeking for the better by God’s power.”

Nazo Markarian attends engineering school, holds a job and is active in Armenian student organizations.

Nazo found a job in his free hours after university to help his family. Just when it appeared that a normal life might return, his dad fell in his carpentry workshop and needed surgery again, this time for his foot. Recovery would take five months, and the family was very depressed and worried about their monthly house payments. Again, Jinishian and sister organizations participated in the surgery expenses, and until Sarkis was able to return to work, JMP assisted with the family’s bills.

Currently, father and son’s incomes are barely enough to meet needs. Yet they are thankful —always expressing their deep gratitude for JMP’s financial and moral support during their most difficult times. No matter their own hardship, the Markarians think of others with greater needs. According to the Aleppo Jinishian team, they have all been touched and impressed by the pride and kindness of this family. Most inspiring of all is the confident testimony of a young man who has seen the hand of provision for all his need and knows the source of his hope.

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope!” Romans 15:13

The Jinishian Memorial Program began in Aleppo, Syria in 1966 to meet the needs of the post-genocide Armenian population. Today JMP reaches more than 70,000 people each year in seven locations, often where other organizations won’t go — Armenia, Lebanon, Syria, Istanbul, Jerusalem, Artsakh and Georgia. The leadership and staff are 100 percent local and unite across Apostolic, Catholic and Evangelical traditions to share God’s love with the most vulnerable.

Give securely online to support the Jinishian Memorial Program. Your gift today will make a lasting impact in Syria. Each small act of mercy can empower someone for life.

Jinishian Memorial Program logo

…from poverty and despair
to self-sufficiency and hope

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