PARAMUS, NJ – This summer, Armenia will be the gathering point for nearly 150 youth and leaders from Armenian Evangelical churches and Unions the world over, as the Armenian Missionary Association of America (AMAA) celebrates the centennial of its founding with an “All-Armenian Evangelical Youth Conference,” August 2 through 16.
With fifteen different countries represented, these youth will gather in the Homeland, some for the first time, to experience a connection with one another, with their culture and heritage, and with their identity as young Armenian Christians. They will take in some of the significant touristic sights in and around Yerevan, and will become acquainted with the educational and benevolent work of the AMAA in Armenia. Among other destinations, they will also visit the Holy See of Etchmiadzin.
The group will also participate in a four-day conference at the AMAA’s Sheen-Shoghik Conference Center in Hankavan, where they will learn about the heritage of the 172-year-old Armenian Evangelical Church, evaluate the present state of the Church, and develop a vision for the coming decades.
Significantly, conference attendees will also be splitting up to go to almost twenty different areas of Armenia to participate in a variety of service projects. Some will be working with children’s programs, others will be doing clean-up or renovation work, and others will be visiting and encouraging families experiencing difficulties or loss, all with the intent of encouraging their brothers and sisters in Armenia in the name of Jesus Christ.
The youth are excited for this opportunity to experience Armenia and bring their modest efforts to benefit the Motherland, and will no doubt be changed by this experience as they return to their homes and churches, inspired in their Christian lives and in their dedication to their Armenian identity.
The Armenian Missionary Association of America, founded in 1918 in Worcester, Mass., began during the most difficult days of the Armenian people in order to help fellow-Armenians rebuild their lives following the Genocide and deportation. It has since developed into a world-wide Christian organization strengthening not only the work of the Armenian Evangelical Church, but also Armenians in Armenia and the Diaspora, as well as others in particular need.