The story of the Baghdassaryans, a family with six children, is an example of a hardworking, struggling, resilient family from Artsakh, shining with love and blessings, where they shower their children (ages 20, 18, 16, 15, 13, and 11 years old) with love for God, for family, and for the Motherland.

The Artsakh team of the Armenian Missionary Association of America (AMAA) met the Baghdassaryan family in 2021, soon after the brutal 44-day war, when they were forced to leave their home in the village of Avedaranots (Askeran region) and move to the city of Askeran. They left their house, cultivated fields, vegetable garden, domestic animals, and all their financial assets created over the years with hard work.

But as they say in Artsakh: “The people of Avedaranots make bread even from the stone.” With the support of the AMAA, the family began to stand on their feet again in Askeran. The mother started to bake small amounts of bread and cultivate the plot next to the house. Her husband and children began raising livestock, buying pigs, rabbits, and chickens. The enthusiasm of this young woman was always encouraging. Always smiling, she confidently told the AMAA how she imagined the future of her family in Artsakh. During the past two years, with each visit the AMAA team witnessed and enjoyed the family’s successful results. They sold special Artsakh bread with green herbs (Zhingyalov hats – a type of flatbread stuffed with finely diced herbs and green vegetables) which were grown right in the plot next to the house. They also sold pastries, poultry, pork, and rabbit meat. Their agricultural management skills of income management, growing economy, and willingness to learn, were evident.

In December 2022, a new trial and tribulation confronted Artsakh: the blockade of the only road connecting Artsakh to Mother Armenia and the world. The blockade spread and affected the economy of post-war Artsakh and inhibited its freedom. But not so for the Baghdassaryan family. Last fall, by adding to the funds provided by the AMAA, the family bought thirty pigs and a calf, rented a barn near Askeran, and grew an abundant crop of vegetables including potatoes, beans, and tomatoes on the riverside area given to the family by the municipality.  From this crop, the resourceful mother prepared delicious preserves and was ready for the winter: When the crisis accelerated the implementation of the family’s new initiative, they rented a space in front of their house in Askeran and started preparing barbeque such as shawarma and kebab. The meat was from their own animals, so there was no need for investment. However, they soon started buying meat from fellow farmers and continued to increase the income of the livestock farm. According to the mother, in a very short period of time, the food they prepared was the tastiest and most affordable in the area, and even the Russian peacekeepers visited them.

This is how one Artsakh family was able to overcome yet another trial and tribulation. The blockade made the Baghdassaryan family stronger and wiser. And as always, faithful to its mission, the Armenian Missionary Association of America and its Artsakh team stood next to them, encouraging, uplifting, and conveying love, hoping to rebuild the Homeland again and for good.

The Baghdassaryans are one of the 43 families of AMAA’s “Empower an Artsakh Family” Program.

To learn more about AMAA’s “Empower an Artsakh Family” Program and to share your love with our brothers and sisters in Artsakh, please visit our website at www.amaa.org

 

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