In 2014, Rev. Raffi Messerlian was elected as a member of the World Christian Endeavour Union (WCEU) and in the Summer of 2015, the Board of WCEU held their meeting in Germany.
In order to further explain to our readers about the connection of the Armenian Chrisitan Endeavour Societies of Lebanon and Syria with the WCEU we conducted this interview.
(interview conducted by Mr. R. Chilingirian)
Raffi - What is the relationship of the Armenian Krisdoneyagan Chanits (Christian Endeavour) with the World Christian Endeavor Union? Can you give us a brief history?
Rev. Raffi - As the Christian Endeavour Body of Lebanon and Syria we have created connections with the World Christian Endeavour Union, and during the years the relationship has fluctuated due to various reasons including the wars in Lebanon.
Our Armenian Evangelical Churches had adopted the Christian Endeavour work among our youth, and we have created junior and youth Christian Endeavour Societies within our Armenian Evangelical Churches in Cilicia (currently Turkey)
Our Armenian Evangelical Christian Endeavour Societies in Lebanon and Syria have a special standing within the WCEU, since we are not independent youth organisations but are part of the local church, hence our motto: "For Christ and For the Church".
Raffi- Did anyone in the CE executive meeting know about the CE existence in the Armenian Evangelical Churches of Lebanon and Syria?
Rev. Raffi- Yes there were various members of the WCEU, who had heard about us, and they asked me several questions regarding our work, and I gave a presentation about our youth groups and youth-related work and services and camps in both Lebanon and Syria. The president of the WCEU showed interest in our work here in Lebanon and he would like to give us a visit within next year in 2016.
Raffi- What were the main topics discussed during the CE executive meeting in Germany?
Rev. Raffi- The Executive Body's meeting was held in Germany in a very nice campsite. There were several delegations present during the meeting. There were 2 main important topics:
- The general executive Mr. Andreas Rudolf will be retiring in 2017 and we decided to ask the national Christian Endeavour Societies to send their nominees for the general executive position. During this meeting there were several question raised and discussed, one of which is to know and announce the role and responsibilities of the general executive. All the world Christian Endeavour Societies will be receiving an official letter regarding this subject matter.
- The financial situation is getting tough and we have to come up with means to close the gap between our inflows and outflows. Hence, after extensive discussions during the meeting, we decided to ask all the national Christian Endeavour Societies to help the WCEU financially.
Raffi- How do you see the future of the relationship with the World Christian Endeavour Union?
Rev. Raffi- I think that this connection with the WCEU should be revitalised and in 2018 there is a convention that is going to be held in San Diego. We need to select a few of our members to participate in this convention.
Rev. Raffi sitting in the middle next to Andreas Rudolf, general secretary of WCEU