Orphan’s Promise in Armenia
As a land-locked country at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, Armenia is a distant thought for many Americans. A small nation of fewer than 3 million, Armenia is recognized as the first country to accept Christianity as its national faith, which occurred in 301 A.D. The nation also proudly boasts about being the home of Mount Ararat, where Noah famously landed the Ark as the floodwaters subsided. Armenians, with a wink and a jovial laugh, like to joke that they are the ones who greeted Noah when he arrived.
But beyond its rich Christian heritage, Armenia is a nation that has known much suffering. In total, 1.5 million Armenians perished in a genocide that took place between 1915 and 1917. Tragedy befell the country again in 1988, when a massive earthquake took the lives of over 25,000 people and left hundreds of thousands homeless.
relationship through relief
Each of our centers seeks to reach not only the needy children in their communities, but to reach out to the children’s families, as well. When a child attends a program at one of our Orphan’s Promise training centers, our staff also aims to build a relationship with their family. Staff members travel to the children’s homes to spend time with them and their families—to learn how they are struggling and to determine how Orphan’s Promise can help.
Though the earthquake occurred in 1988, effects of its devastation still remain today. Tens of thousands of families continue to live in homes made from old shipping containers. These containers, once used to hold relief supplies for earthquake victims, now serve as makeshift homes. What was meant to be a temporary living solution for those displaced by the earthquake turned out to be permanent homes for many, and now second and third generations are growing up in these containers.
education and life skills
Our training centers provide courses in English, computer skills, music and theater, baking, knitting, and other vocational skills, as well as Bible lessons. We believe that education is key to breaking the cycle of poverty, and the goal of our centers is to help these children realize that their dreams for a brighter future are possible!
At Orphan’s Promise, we love being able to partner with local churches. Thanks to our partnerships in Armenia, we are providing children not only with an education but also a platform that connects them to the local church for life. Though most children come from a Christian background, very few know what it means to have a personal relationship with Jesus prior to attending the center. Because all of our educational programs are hosted at the local churches, the church quickly becomes a safe and comfortable place—and the majority of kids who attend our program go on to become regular church attendees. One of our centers reported that 80% of the children who have attended the training center are now regular members of the church, and most of these children bring along family members. Entire families have heard the Gospel because of their children attending our centers! There is no doubt that by reaching the youth of Armenia, we are reaching entire families!
lives transformed by love
Sose, 12, Vanadzor Training Center
Sose is 12 years old, and although she has both of her parents, her life remains challenging because of their difficult living situation. The entire family lives together—mother, father, six kids, a son-in-law, and four grandchildren. All 13 people live together in two shipping containers. Sose has been attending the OP-supported program for about a year.
Sose says she has learned a lot about prayer since she began attending the OP- sponsored center, and she continually testifies to how God is answering prayers for her family.
Sose’s mother shared that since Sose began attending the school, her English grades have drastically improved. Thanks to the OP lessons and support she is receiving, all her marks at school have improved. Sose’s mother also became more open to the Gospel through the work that the church was doing, and today Sose and her mother regularly attend Sunday services at the church. Sose says she continually prays for the repentance of her whole family and is believing for the day when they will all go to church together! Sose also had some medical needs that OP has been able to meet.
Khachatur, 16, Gyumri Training Center
Khachatur is a young man who lives with his mother and two brothers. His father went abroad a few years ago looking for work and never returned. Khachatur began attending Sunday school at the age of 6, and today is growing in his faith. Despite the fact that his family has been through many difficulties, he never stopped believing, praying and dreaming about a bright future. He found a talent for painting and has become one of the best artists in our center. Our program helps the family with food and clothing and invests a lot of time on Khachatur and his brothers’ physical and spiritual development. When we talk to him, his dream is always the same: that he will serve God and become a shepherd of the church one day. We believe that the seeds planted in Khachatur’s life will not only grow in his heart but will also bear much fruit to those around him.
80% OF CHILDREN WHO HAVE ATTENDED OUR TRAINING CENTERS ARE NOW REGULAR MEMBERS OF THE LOCAL CHURCH.
When you support Orphan’s Promise, you give children in Armenia, and thousands like them around the world, an opportunity to experience brighter futures!