AMAA Summer Internship Program 2011

Armenia, Internship, Summer, Faith, Mission trip, Kids, VBS, New group. These were the words that were going through my mind before Vahe Jebejian and I flew from Beirut to Armenia on July 15. This summer I had the opportunity of participating in the Internship program that the Armenian Missionary Association of America (AMAA) had organized. It was a 3 week program which included two weeks of service in Armenia and another additional and optional week in Lebanon. A group of young adults traveled from different parts of the USA and Canada and thus we were a complete group of 21 people in Armenia. The Internship was led by our enthusiastic Rev. Nishan Bakalian as well as Pastor Shant Barsoumian and Anahid Dolabjian.The main purpose of this trip was to serve and to grow spiritually. We had daily devotionals, verse memorizing times, sightseeing, in addition to getting acquainted with the ministries of the AMAA there through visitations and seminars. After spending a couple of days in Yerevan, we were divided into two groups and each went to a different village/town: Pert and Armavir. Our main focus during that first week was to lead and help with the Vacation Bible Schools. It was a very good experience to play, entertain and learn with the village kids. These kids were different than the children I usually see in Lebanon, they had very simple lives, they enjoyed running in the streets and playing in the gardens, and most of them had only a few pair of clothes but that did not seem to bother them. They were full of energy and enthusiasm, and they had loving hearts. Seeing their smiles every morning and hearing them call “Garin Kooyr” used to brighten my days and make me thank God for putting children in our lives. We enjoyed singing with them, preparing sketches, teaching them new songs, helping them during the arts and crafts hours and supporting the local leaders in every possible way. It was surprising to see how well prepared and organized the local leaders were. Although they did not have lots of equipments but they had the talent of creating many things from the simple supplies they had. When we first met the VBS leaders we did not know who they were, but because we were all there for the same purpose and because we all had God’s love in our hearts, we felt like a big family and were able to transfer that love to the children. On one of the walls where we did the VBS we drew a graffiti saying “God is Love” and “Աստուած Սէր է” which will be a nice reminder of our visit and service in Pert. We also visited many village families and elderly people. At first, it was not easy to see them in the poor circumstances that they were living in, but seeing them smile and seeing the happiness inside them filled us with hope. Experiencing this helped us learn to be thankful for the small gifts we have in life because we realized how God had immensely blessed us, our families and our lives. Being able to live this experience in Armenia and serving there was a different feeling. Our motherland was the best place to make a difference and to feel God’s love and power through the work we were doing there.

After a challenging week in Pert, and the other group in Armavir, the whole group reunited and was back in Yerevan. We had the opportunity of joining and participating in one of the teen camps at the AMAA’s Shoghig camp site in Hankavan. It was wonderful to see the large number of teenagers who were there to learn and to have a better relationship with God. After spending two whole weeks in Armenia, it was time to say the sad goodbye to part of our group and to our dear Hayrenik. Eight interns and Badveli continued to Lebanon for the 3rd week of the Internship which included 3 days of VBS at the Trad Social Center in Beirut, visiting needy families, touring, and having a bible study with the Emmanuel church’s Chanitz.

It was remarkable to see how God planned the trip and gave each and every one of us the opportunity to do something special for Him. This unforgettable experience was a true blessing in which I learned many things, made new friends, and most importantly strengthened my faith and trust in the Lord!

Blessed be His name!

Garin Haidostian

Worship at Pert VBS

Arts and Crafts

At Khor Virab with Ararad behind us

Our Graffitti

Handing out the presents we had brought for the children

Me with a group of VBS kids

The Pert group

Visiting the elderly

The Pert VBS group


VBS at the Trad Social Center in Beirut

The group

The Lebanon group in Anjar

Bible Study at the Emmanuel Chanitz