Family Retreat of the Armenian Evangelical Emmanuel Church

For two days, from Firday, 24 July to Saturday, 25 July, in Ayn Kassis, in Dhour Shweir, and for the fist time in the life of the Armenian Evangelical Emmanuel Church, the body, the family came together and had a retreat to get closer to each other, to have deeper fellowship and relationship, to strengthen our faith and be rejuvenated.

The theme of the retreat was "He/she loves, I love, We love", and the speaker was Mrs. Maral Deyirmenjian.

There was excitement on the faces of the people, it was best shown on the faces of the youngsters. Ms. Armig Kazezian led the opening worship, after which, the pastor, Rev. Hovanness Svajian shared his message, about God being our source of motivation and reason. Then, it was time for activities and social time. Mr. Hagop Gojigian and Ms. Narine Kouzikian led the games. It was a nice time, specially the time when each group had to come up with an Armenian song that starts with a specific Armenian letter.

On Saturday, the church started its day with quiet time, and after breakfast, Ms. Rita Lao Manjelikian led worship time, after which, Mrs. Maral Deyirmenjian presented her subject about the self esteem of the person. She told us that the consequences of negative self esteem are: feeling alone, sad, anxious, failure in life and work, not being able to share thoughts, comparing with others, not accepting criticism. She also presented the reasons: lack of love from friends and family, always being criticized, emotional crisis. The solutions that she presented: admitting the problems, looking for help, deafening the internal negative voice, congratulating success, concentrating on the strong abilities, looking at God and allowing His positive feedback.
Afterward, the church divided into 4 groups and discussed the subject further. The leaders of the 4 groups were: Mrs. Araxi Mazmanian, Mrs. Vera Svajian, Mr. Manoug Ibitian, Mr. Zareh Manjelikian.

During the next session, and after lunch, Mrs. Maral raised a question, "So, is it difficult to love?"
It becomes difficult to love beacause of: selfishness, pride, lack of humility, not allowing others to do wrong, not forgiving the sins, not having "chemistry" with others. She stressed on the importance of love, and how it has a healing abilities in relationships. Ms. Ani Baboghlanian led the closing worship and shared about love and how a church can be loving, following the Bible's guidelines.

The organizing committee were: Mrs. Ani Chalekian, Ms. Shaké Geocherian, Ms. Ani Baboghlanian, Mr. Manoug Ibitian, Mr. Samuel Svajian, and Rev. Hovanness Svajian.

41 members participated with 13 kids and children.

Right: Hopping into the bus and getting ready for fresh air, wonderful time together and fellowship
Left: already excitement is visible

Ms. Armig Kazezian, while leading the worship session

Right: Mrs. Rita Lao-Mangelikian leading the 2nd worship session.
Left: Ms. Ani Baboghlanian our strict and punctual and sweet-hearted leader

Left: Mrs. Vera Svajian, our acrobat yeretz gin
Right: During the game of passing the ball to your neightbor

Left: Rev. Hovanness Svajian
Right: Mrs. Maral Deyirmenjian

Left: Coffee break!
Right: the kids had their own fun time

Left: Mr. Garbis and Maral Deyirmenjian fellowshiping
Right: Rev. Hovanness Svajian thanking Mrs. Maral with a gift

Left: Mrs. Ani Chalekian
Right: Ms. Shake Geocherian

Left: Mr. Levon Bedigian
Right: Mr. Garo Avessian, with his son Vartan

Left: Mrs. Vera Svajian leading the 1st group
Right: Mr. Manoug Ibitian leading the 2nd group

Left: Mr. Zareh Manjelikian leading the 3rd group
Right: Mrs. Araxi Mazmanian leading the 4th group