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Armenia

Opportune Time

“... Behold, now is a favorable time, behold, now is the day of salvation”  2 Cor. 6: 2

On March 7 through 10, by God's favor, we held Outreach Conference for the Yazidis Kurds with this particular slogan.

Over the course of 20 years, the Lord has taught me different truths and manifestations of His character. And during this time, one of the important things that I learned from the Lord is that God is never late, and He does everything in time...

For the Yazidis, who spend most of their time in the mountains, away from civilization and from communication, it is very important to have the opportunity to meet at least once or twice a year in order to worship God, share testimonies of how the Lord works in their lives, to share about problems and blessings.

Besides that, the conference is an event to which we should and able to invite new unconverted Yazidis. This year we realized that 80% of the participants will be new people, that is, not all of them are unfamiliar to us (although, there were such), but mostly unconverted.

Most of the participants came from the northern part of Armenia. Out of 11 settlements in which Jamal is serving by invitation. There were people from 7 southern settlements who came by the Karo's invitation. In addition, there were people from Yerevan (the capital of the country), Gyumry (formerly known as Leninakan the second largest city in Armenia), Vanadzor (former Kirovakan the third largest city in Armenia).

The theme of the conference was "Indeed Now Is the Time." We expounded about the importance of the time. Basically, I preached and pastor Edik. We had a general worship meeting twice a day - in the morning and evening, which consisted of prayers, worship, testimonies and preaching of the Word. Then we were breaking down all people into small groups in order to discuss the topic in groups.

Praise God that the Lord worked through the Holy Spirit and people were transformed before our eyes and gave their lives to the Lord.

Especially I want to mention a father of one of our Kurdish servants, his name is M... M. was once the most relentless persecutor of his son and, of Christians in general. It was he who once, in the winter, drove his son with his wife and child out of the house, only because they became Christians and he was embarrassed in front of other people. M. was repeatedly coming and causing turmoil for Christian children's day camps, which they held in their village. In recent times, the Lord has touched him more than once, and he was kind of straddling the fence. I myself went and invited him to the conference and, to the surprise of his son's, he agreed to come.

On the second day of the conference, this person was just deeply crushed in God's presence and cried like a child... But his son and his son's wife cried even more, they did not believe their eyes, and they did not cease to praise God for this miracle... Please remember this elderly man in your prayers...

There were young guys from the settlement of S/, who had never been in such environment, they spent all their free time taking the shower, since hot tap water is a dream for every Highlander)))). But, they are very outgoing, and their naive simplicity just able to win over anyone. They just might listen to you with such a surprise, trying to catch every word you say, that sometimes you wonder – is this really happening???

Indeed the Lord is great! One Yazidi man from the village of A. said that on the first night, when we talked about the time that we cannot control it, he saw a very interesting dream... He recounted that in his dream, he found himself inside of hourglass and, as the sand was running out, he ended up falling down. Then, there appeared to be some hand, which was very-very bright, breaks this watch, picks it up and takes it to a place where there are no borders or horizon. He understands that he is there, where there are no time limits, and he hears the question as if it is from within: "Do you know where you are?" And, of course, he came and raised this question before us: where was I???

I, of course, was startled, but did not show this in front of him. I said that I do not know exactly where he was, but I can say that He Who saved you, He can tell where you were... I told him, what do you think Who saved you? And, do you know what he said? His answer was – melek taus! (That means Satan). I was dumbfounded! It was just mind boggling to hear that... In fact, at the end of the conference he said that he knew that he was actually saved by Isa Nurani (Jesus), but he was afraid to tell me before, now he's not afraid anymore...

Karo says that when he was driving sisters home from the settlement of A., at home, there was a surprise for everyone. They told their sons over the phone that they were “in paradise” and now they want to thank Karo somehow. And Karo says that they were met with music and slaughtered a ram (this is done in honor of dear guests) and he had the opportunity to share the Gospel with more than 20 people at once – these were neighbors and relatives of these women. Another large, new, Yazidi family from the M. settlement, who were invited by Karo, was looking at them with a suspicious eye at the beginning and, as they later admitted. They were scared that there were so many Yazidis who would laugh at them. But, as they said, they did not understand what was happening to them, as if they had known Christians all their lives. This family begs us to continue to visit them. After the conference, Karo went to them, and they received him very warmly, prayed together and read the Word.

Of course, the conference is not an end in itself, the conference is an event that is a starting point for someone, but for others is just a restart. Therefore, we were trying to put more stress on working with people after the conference. At such conferences, people receive far more blessings than we can expect, so after the conference, their homes, their children, and their hearts are open to us. Now, we already started visiting them so that they wouldn't “cool off” as they say.

There were many other interesting moments, and it's hard to mention about everything, but we just want to say that we praise the Lord for all this.

Once again, we're thankful to all those who prayed and donated their means. Friends, want to say that you can be sure that the Lord was glorified at this conference through your participation. May all glory be to God that He is our Father, that He gives us the opportunity to get to know Him better, to learn from Him personally, to trust Him more, to depend more on Him. Thanks to God that today in Armenia, despite the difficulties, we can fearlessly serve Him and preach the Gospel.

I'm thankful to God that He loves us and that He always reminds us that we are not alone, that He is with us and helps us if we do it for His glory!

“My God will supply all your needs, according to His riches in glory, by Christ Jesus.” Philip. 4:19

From Armenia, Your brother Arthur Marandyan

Pray for Armenia

• for strengthening of our churches;

• for new church in Erevan, for the trip in Karabah;

• for summer events and baptism;

• for new ministers;

• for minister’s families;

• for finance to repair building in Armavir;

• for finances to visit missionary locations;

• for Bible College “Ararat” (students, teachers, finances);

• for our trip to Ukraine in July-August;

• for Natasha’s health.

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