AIA Sports Performance’s Educational mission team to Armenia saw God renew old friendships and begin new ones. Our team gelled very quickly into a great group willing to flex and adapt to what our hosts needed. Looking back, we saw God use our team to open doors for our ministry with the National Wrestling Team, a high level wrestling club, the newly formed Armenian Sports Medicine Federation, and the National Kinesiology University!
We met Nane, a Kinesiology student who follows Christ today because God worked through a previous AIA Sports Performance team. She is very active in AIA Armenia. God connected us to another student who is a follower of Christ and is now connected to the ministry there. Other kinesiology students and wrestlers at the university heard the team tell of God’s love and how He has changed their lives. This has given our Armenian staff several new contacts to follow up with to share the same story the cross stones tell!
We also met and shared our stories with the President of the soccer club where two of our ministry volunteers lead a youth soccer team. He is a retired army General who is in a position to be used by God to impact many people in this country. Please pray for him to know God and be filled with the knowledge of His will. John Peterson, an Olympic gold and silver medalist, and an AIA staff member since 1973, traveled with the team. God used John to open doors for the ministry within the sport of wrestling. He shared the story of how God changed his life at an elite wrestling club in Garni. John also built deeper relationships with the National Team Coaches and wrestlers at the Olympic Training Center and an Olympic level strength coach.
Here is the text of an email I received from our Armenia staff a week after we left Yerevan. If you have been to Armenia on one of our teams, supported us through your prayers or given financially so our teams could go, please accept this message as written to you too!
Yesterday I was in Garni. A massive wrestling tournament was being held there. 300 people were present. I gave them the gifts that your team left. They were very happy to see me and invited me to visit them again. I will send you some pictures later. John Peterson has opened wonderful doors of opportunity for us.
2 students from the Physical Institute have expressed desire and willingness to join us as volunteers! Thank you very much for helping us promote and accelerate our ministry. We greatly appreciate your efforts and are thankful to God for you. Would you please send me John Peterson’s email address? I want to send him an email as well to thank him and encourage him by letting him know how God has been working through his ministry.
Tigran & Lusine
- Paul for the Team
Photos Below, Top Left: John Peterson sharing his testimony with some of the Garni wrestlers / Bottom Left: Pray that God continues to open these gates for ministry at the Armenian Olympic Training Facility! / Right: Tigran and Lusine