An Interview with Badveli Sevag Trashian on the Occasion of His Installation as the Pastor of the Armenian Evangelical Emmanuel Church

In 2014, the Armenian Evangelical Emmanuel Church of Nor Amanos bid farewell to Rev. Hovannes Svajian and his family, who have relocated to Montreal Canada and are serving in the sister church, the Armenian Evangelical Church of Laval. Today, we have a new pastor, badveli Sevag Trashian, who has previously served as pastor of the Armenian Evangelical churches in the Kessab region of Syria. In order to get to know badveli Sevag, we asked him a few questions about him and his ministry, and we've come up with this interview that we share with you.

(Interview conducted by Raffi Chilingirian)

Badveli Sevag Trashian in the church office

Raffi - Can you tell our readers about yourself (years of service, education, faith)? 
Badv. Sevag -

I did my primary and secondary education at Souren Khanamirian Armenian College. As a pre-Theology student I finished my degree in Education specializing in Teaching English with a Teaching Diploma from Haigazian University in 2002. After my bachelors degree from Haigazian University I was enrolled in the Masters of Divinity program at the Near East School of Theology completing it in 2005.

In 1994 I started attending the Junior Youth group at the Armenian Evangelical Church
Nor Marash. My interest in God started developing as I experienced the love and care of God through the leaders at the youth group who had exemplary faith and enthusiasm in serving Jesus Christ. At one of the Youth meetings I took a decision to accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and savior. In 1996 I passed on to the young adults group at the church and there my enthusiasm to serve the Lord grew in me. I could not see myself doing anything else but being involved in full time ministry as I was finishing my school education.
Our God works in mysterious ways accomplishing his will through us who are willing to submit to his will. We have to humbly trust him our lives our churches our ministry and be faithful in answering his call.

Years of service
After my graduation from the Near East School of Theology in 2005 I started my full time ministry on July the 2nd 2005 at The Armenian Evangelical Holy Trinity Church Kessab Syria. I served there the local Kaladouran Church too until the 1st f December 2014. In the spring of 2011 I became the pastor of the rest of the Armenian Evangelical Churches in the Kessab region, namely Keorkuneh and Ekizolouk churches. Currently I am the pastor of The Armenian Evangelical Emmanuel Church of Nor Amanos Lebanon after serving the field in Kessab for nine and a half years.

Raffi - Why did you choose to become a pastor? 
Badv. Sevag - After joining the junior youth group at the Armenian Evangelical Church in Nor Marash Lebanon I had great passion to serve the Lord full time. I could not see myself in any other field. I attended that year summer of 1995 the joint Youth camp in Kessab where there were over 150 young people from the different regions of the world. The topic of the camp was
"The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field."Mathew 9:37-38
I was immediately taken by this verse and thought about it and prayed that if this was a call for me to apply for full time service and ministry. The Lord guided me after this camp until I was accepted by the Union of Armenian Evangelical Churches in the Near East to study theology for the purpose of becoming a pastor after graduation.

Raffi - What are the strengths and weaknesses of the Armenian Evangelical Emmanuel Church? 
Badv. Sevag - The Armenian Evangelical Emmanuel Church is an active church within the Armenian community in Nor Amanos. It has had throughout the years, since its founding in 1970s a great impact and influence on its surrounding through the dedication enthusiasm and service of its members and leaders. I thank the Lord for giving me the opportunity to serve at the Emmanuel church. I would redefine the words strengths and weaknesses as ongoing fruitful ministries and areas where more work can be done.
We as a church have successful ministries with children namely DVBS and Sunday school, with teens through our junior youth group and with young adults through our Young adults group. Of course more work and outreach can be done through these groups. However they are already a blessing to the children teens and young people who attend these programs.
Our Ladies group is also dynamic providing support and service to the different church activities and is a place where mothers and young ladies and elderly get spiritual nourishment through the worship services they attend.
It is a blessing for us at the Emmanuel church that we have devoted , talented and enthusiastic leaders. Some serve in the different committees of church for certain periods of time while others are leading the different groups.
It is a blessing and a great opportunity for us to be situated within the Armenian community in Nor Amanos. It also puts a great responsibility on us to have a good witness and an impact.
We can do more in increasing church attendance on Sundays by visiting our parishioners and by encouraging those who attend to be active in bringing their family members and their immediate friends to church.
We can do more in encouraging young people to attend church on Sundays.
We can do more in reaching out to the Armenian community in which we live. Specially the young people teens and youth.

We can do more in the field of social work by reaching out to the different needs and challenges of our people.
We can do more in preparing leaders from the new generation equipping them with proper training.

Raffi - 4- On which aspect of the ministry will you concentrate on for and through the Armenian Evangelical Emmanuel Church? 
Badv. Sevag - As the scriptures say the church is like a Family and The body of Christ meaning there is diversity within the Church. Every branch or part, age group , within the Church in my opinion is important and contributes to the witness and the ministry of the church. My pastoral calling and service will be to oversee and to work closely with all with the Lord’s help and guidance by encouraging empowering each so that they reach their assigned goals. My focus will be also to encourage our people to be more involved in the different ministries of the church. To go beyond attendance into active presence and service. I believe that the Lord will lead us this year through the different ministries at our church and will entrust us with new ministries if we are faithful with the few that we already have.