By Dr. Albert and Sue Phillips*
What a blessing it has been to be of service to the people of Armenia for the last eleven years and we thank the Lord for all who have ventured along with us and given of themselves to serve others.
This year the Armenia Medical Mission Team of 43 members and 9 Armenian translators staffed ambulatory clinics in two separate regions of Armenia June 13-23. The North Team returned to Vanadzor and Stepanavan and the South Team traveled to Sisian and Kapan, a new location. We are thankful to God to have had enough medical personnel to be able to split the team this year and thus give care to several regions in Armenia. The Medical Mission Team consisted of 7 physicians, 2 dentists, 2 pharmacists, 5 nurses, 1 occupational therapist and 27 willing volunteers. The clinics were set up in the Evangelical Churches of the towns we visited. Dr. Chris Tashjian, his wife Barbara, and Allison Phillips were the South Team leaders and without their leadership we could have never been able to expand as we had this year.
Patients came from local neighborhoods and many were transported from outlying villages to the clinic by bus. Throughout the course of the week, over 1,000 patients, including adults and children, were seen. Our dentists treated 450 children and educated them on dental hygiene. We witnessed the results of our ongoing treatment by finding less dental disease in the group of children who return each year. Similarly, our adult patients who have received treatments in the past, reported improved health after receiving treatments for diabetes and hypertension. Through the support of the Armenian Missionary Association of America (AMAA), we have been able to give the patients enough medications to last one year.
While patients were waiting to be seen, our nurse educators gave lectures on various medical issues. During the clinic, patients were invited to attend church services where team members shared their testimonies and the Gospel of Jesus Christ was preached. After each visit with the doctor, patients were given an opportunity to have a prayer offered. Many were touched both physically and spiritually. This year, 98 families of young children ages 6 months to 5 years had the opportunity to participate in an Early Childhood Development Assessment administered by Dr. Allison Phillips, OTD. The results of this testing found that 3 of the children had developmental delays and parents were given individual counseling and instruction. We are happy to announce that the AMAA has made a large investment in the Medical Mission ministry. This month, the AMAA hired an Armenian physician employee who will return to our clinic locations to provide follow up and continuity of care.
The Medical Mission Team has committed to return to Armenia for our twelfth year in July 2020. If you have a desire to serve our brothers and sisters in Armenia or are interested in knowing more about the Armenia Medical Mission, please visit our website. The link can be found at AMAA’s website www.amaa.org under “Projects.” Medical and non-medical, Armenian or non-Armenian speaking volunteers are welcome. We are humbled to see how God has grown the Medical Mission over the years. We can assure you that your generous donations to the AMAA earmarked for the Medical Mission go directly to the Armenian people and are only used for medications and supplies. Jesus during His ministry often met the physical needs prior to addressing the spiritual needs of those He met. We are committed to emulating His love in Armenia.
“The AMAA Medical Mission is an embodiment of both the reflection of Christ’s love poured unto our people and the spreading of the Word of God in action,” said Zaven Khanjian, Executive Director/CEO of the AMAA. “We thank those at the helm of the Medical Mission and the many volunteers who demonstrate their faith in action.”
*Dr. & Mrs. Albert and Sue Phillips are AMAA’s Armenia Medical Mission Team leaders.