Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day
April 24, 2016
Pokr Vedi village is home to 3000 souls, Christians nestled in the valley of Noah’s Mount Ararat between Turkey, Russia and Iran. Residents of the Armenian village still remember ancestors brutally exiled and annihilated by the Ottomans 100 years ago—a horror still unrecognized by Turkey, whose closed border lies just a few miles away. Even the young Republic of Armenia is a miracle of survival. Just 25 years ago these villagers lived off the Soviet state and have struggled to provide for their families ever since.
How does one subsist with no resources to cultivate his land or her business? How does one recover faith after genocide and atheism?
“Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more . . . . See, I am making all things new” (Rev. 21:4–5).
For the last several years, the Jinishian Memorial Program has helped these villagers form an agricultural cooperative to share equipment, technology, marketing tools and the vision not merely to survive but to move from communism to community.
Low-interest loans, vital to their small businesses, were previously impossible to obtain. The Jinishian program fosters economic development through micro-lending to hundreds of farmers throughout Armenia. Participants in the Pokr Vedi cooperative faithfully repay their loans, and the co-op has begun to flourish. The Jinishian program continually seeks creative ways to lift Armenians from poverty to hope and self-sufficiency. Last year, the village won a grant competition to repair its kindergarten.
Residents of Pokr Vedi trace their faith to the village’s ancient Khor Virap monastery, where St. Gregory the Illuminator miraculously survived years of imprisonment and near-starvation to share Christ with the pagan king around 300 AD. Today, the Jinishian program helps send thousands of village children to summer camp to encounter Christ for themselves. The program’s ministries are led by local Apostolic, Catholic and Evangelical believers working together to show God’s redeeming love for and through his people.
Cara Taylor, Jinishian Memorial Program
Let us join in prayer for:
PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Let us pray
Merciful God, thank you for Armenian people who have clung to you and the hope of the resurrection. Strengthen all souls who trust in you, and deliver the persecuted wherever they may be. We long to see this brutal world made new. Lord Jesus, by your grace, may we love as you have loved us. And may all of creation and all peoples bring you praise!