PARAMUS, NJIn late December until the end of winter vacation, The Armenian Missionary Association of America (AMAA), in collaboration with the Evangelical Church of Armenia, once again organized 45 Christmas and New Year’s programs in 30 towns and cities throughout Armenia and Karabakh. Through these programs, they shared God’s love and brought “Christmas Joy” to more than 9,000 children and their families from the AMAA’s Sponsorship Program, Sunday Schools, Avedisian School and social and art centers. The real message of Christmas was proclaimed through music, recitations, games and drama which conveyed the meaning and the importance of the birth of Jesus. Each program included a special visit from Santa who distributed “Christmas Joy” boxes of school supplies, socks, mittens, candy, toys, Christmas story activity booklets, puzzles and coloring books to the children.

In Karabakh, most of the 1,500 children who participated in these programs were children of martyred soldiers and from needy families. Special Christmas programs were also organized in nine border villages in the region of Tavush, in the Children’s Rehabilitation Center of Spitak for 30 autistic children and in the Martuni village where many of the inhabitants are descendants of the Armenian Genocide survivors.

The highlight of these Christmas programs took place on January 11 and 12 at the AMAA Center on Baghramyan Street in Yerevan for more than 1,500 children. The AMAA’s Hayasa theatrical group presented a beautiful and exciting drama entitled “The Secret of Joy”, which was staged and directed by Nune Abrahamyan.

On behalf of the AMAA and of thousands of participating children, we thank those who prayed for and contributed to these Christmas programs. We are also very appreciative of the many volunteers who assembled “Christmas Joy” boxes.

The AMAA would especially like to thank Nelson Randolph and Al Jibilian who coordinated purchasing and shipping the Christmas gifts from the United States to Armenia.  Mr. Randolph and Mr. Jibilian traveled to Armenia with volunteers and assisted with assembling and packing the Christmas Joy boxes with other volunteers from the AMAA Center in Yerevan. Since the Nelson’s and Al’s involvement over the last few years, the AMAA’s Christmas Joy Program has strengthened and continues to grow.

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