An Interview with Mrs. Yester Kilaghbian, on the Young Men and Women of Today

Many of the youth today have a wide range of options to select from, a chance or a challenge that their preceding generation didn't have. They face enormous challenges in their lives and they have to make the right decision at every opportunity or obstacle that they encounter. In order to receive further light about the youth today, we contacted Mrs. Yester Kilaghbian, the yeretsgin of the Armenian Evangelical Church in Anshrafieh, to share with us from her several years of experience with the youth.

(Interview by Raffi)

Raffi - What is the need of the young men and women?
Yester - Love is the basic need for every person and especially for young men and women. It is important for them to feel that they are loved by parents, extended family, teachers, leaders and friends. They need to be loved as they are and that love will help them become better. So, they need to be understood and appreciated.

Raffi - How different are youth today, compared to 10 years ago?
Yester - Well, there are many common things between youth today compared to ten years ago. They fear the uncertainty of the future, are afraid of commitment, feel that the older generation does not understand them, want independence and look for change. Few of the differences that I have seen is that 10 years ago, university students did not need to work along with their studies but nowadays they study and they work in order to pay the tuitions. This is one of the reasons that they are absent from church and youth activities. Today’s youth are indifferent to many issues like spiritual and social. Ten years ago they didn’t have this much access to technology and whenever they are not careful, they are misusing technology meanwhile they can benefit from it.

Raffi - What is the biggest challenge and trouble that youth face today?
Yester - There are many challenges that youth face today.

  1. Spiritual: when spiritual values are diminishing and becoming less important.
  2. Financial: the increasing expenses and the importance of comparing oneself with others which results in dissatisfaction and unhappiness.
  3. Moral: The moral standards are changing and moral beliefs are presented as old fashioned.
  4. Social: Many people believe that honesty is diminishing and everyone is worried about himself/herself and does not care for the other. People help in order to benefit or else they will not stretch their helping hands.
  5. Losing hope: Many young people have drug and drinking addictions when they think that these are the only ways to handle their problems.
Raffi - How can today’s youth overcome these troubles?
Yester -
  • By being a fish and not a log. The fish has the ability to swim against the current whereas the log can not choose its direction and is led by the current.
  • By being followers of Christ and being obedient to Him and putting all their trust and worries in God’s Hands.
  • By being leaders and not following of moral values and setting good standards and becoming good examples to others.
  • By having faith and hope that tomorrow is full of options and living today while waiting for a better tomorrow.

Raffi - How can the youth have effective involvement within the church life?
Yester - “Once a chanitsagan…always a chanitsagan…”. I believe in this motto and I live accordingly since I was 18 years old. This may mean that I will remain part of the church as far as I believe that I am a member of the youth group.

Youth can have effective involvement in the church life first of all by being there, being present in church and that should be wholeheartedly and especially physically.

As the Apostle Paul has advised Timothy, youth should be examples of faith and by proving their spiritual and mental maturity, they will be given leadership roles within the church. They will be misunderstood, judged, criticized by the older generation but also they have the chance to be loved, advised and trusted. The only thing they need is patience.