April 24, 2018
The men were taken first, then the women and children were brutalized. Witnesses saw the Euphrates run with blood, and women plunged into the river to escape the terrors of the desert march. Armenian villages throughout the Ottoman territories of 1915 were emptied out in a systematic campaign to demean and destroy innocent victims. Although modern-day Turkey denies this genocide, historians have gathered undisputable evidence of at least a million Armenians killed and a million more dispersed from their ancient homeland.
Today’s Armenia is the size of Maryland, locked among Turkey, Iran, Azerbaijan and Georgia. The fledgling republic fell under communist rule for most of the 20th century, followed by harsh and hungry years of early independence in the 1990s.
For a people who have endured genocide and communism, their faith and their future might seem tenuous. Indeed, many of today’s young adults in the world’s first Christian nation are demoralized, unemployed and ready to flee.
The Jinishian Memorial Foundation in Armenia, however, has developed a nationwide strategy to empower young people. Last year 22 young entrepreneurs in rural areas got affordable loans for start-up businesses, including coaching and technical support for five years. University students use small grants to confront local issues involving human rights, the economy and the environment. For example, one young man with Jinishian support channeled his expertise in radio-electronics into a STEM program for dozens of youth, including many from a local orphanage.
The Jinishian Memorial Program is administered by the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), to benefit Armenians in poverty and need who live outside the U.S. In Armenia 90 percent of the projects are designed to promote long-term, sustainable change so people can earn a decent living, grow healthy families and help their communities thrive. The program offers dignity and hope through relief, development and spiritual uplift.
Cara Taylor, Jinishian Memorial Program
Today’s Focus: Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day
Let us join in prayer for:
PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Rebecca Kueber, PMA
Mei-hui Lai, PMA
Let us pray:
God of Light, you hear our cries in the darkness. Deliver the weak from wicked hands and let your mercy bring comfort to the oppressed. Make us instruments of your peace in a world of sin and struggle. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Morning Psalms 98; 146
First Reading Exodus 32:21-34
Second Reading 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10
Gospel Reading Matthew 5:11-16
Evening Psalms 66; 116