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Lives changed: meeting my church mission partners in Armenia

by Jane Allen

Jane Allen photoThe two weeks I spent in Armenia with Fuller Center for Housing were life-changing. I had considered going for a few years and when the opportunity came, it was the perfect time for me to travel. My team members from Minnesota, California, Florida, Massachusetts and New Jersey had a mission to build homes for those in need, which we did with passionate hearts and hard work. We had loads of fun, too. Our final day was spent with the Jinishian Foundation.

Our tour began visiting a community of farmers who, with great excitement and pride, explained their orchard and honey production techniques. The sky was a brilliant blue and I can still feel the warm air and taste the delicious apricots.

The lunch, which was prepared by family members, was filled with delicious food, joyous conversation and grateful hearts to the Jinishian Foundation for the provision of funds.

A short ride away was a medical clinic where the medical staff described their work and expressed their dedication to their community. Once again, we sensed a strong feeling of thankfulness for the help they had received.  With sparse equipment, they are able to reach those who otherwise would not have medical care.

Next on our itinerary was a stop at Cross of Armenia Unity, a training school for Armenian youth in the areas of art, culinary and weaving.  Participating in the dolma cooking class and making lavash, the Armenian flatbread, were two moments I will never forget. Of course, tasting the outcome was a treat as well. The stories of the many lives that have been changed as a result of their training was even more memorable.

Arriving back in Yerevan, we made one last stop at Mer Hooys. The Jinishian Foundation as well Mer Hooys are mission partners with my church, Liberty Corner Presbyterian Church.

This school for orphaned teenage girls is very dear to the heart of one of my team members and I was thrilled to visit the beautiful facility and meet the staff and students. The girls, assisted by their highly qualified teachers, are in a safe place where they can learn, grow and become charming, mature young women. A presentation of dance and music, (we recognized a Beatles song), was a highlight of the afternoon, showing us that being a teenager is universal.

Knowing that my church is playing a part of positive and spiritual influence in the lives of those we met through the Jinishian Foundation and Mer Hooys, and seeing their work firsthand, made this day extremely important to my overall experience in Armenia.

Learn more about personal mission encounters in Armenia on the Jinishian Memorial Program Visit Armenia page.

 For more information please contact:

Eliza Minasyan, Executive Director
Jinishian Memorial Program
381 Park Avenue South, Suite 617
New York, NY 10016
Tel: (888) 728-7228 x5291

Email Jinishian Memorial Program

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