Today, we had the privilege of celebrating Easter with followers of Christ in Armenia. The worship team was great and there was an awesome combination skit/video presentation that underlined the importance of sacrifice. The Pastor followed this with a rousing sermon centered around motivating his congregation to honor Christ’s sacrifice in their own lives. He quoted God’s Word from 1st Corinthians 15 and Colossians 2 & 3 encouraging both us and his church to claim the victory over sin, Satan and death in our daily lives.
Our Easter lunch was spent with our hosts, Tigran and Lusine. We enjoyed a typical Armenian Easter lunch with fresh fish, rice with raisins, pumpkin, assorted vegetables, cheeses, and colored hard boiled eggs. There was also ice cream and cake afterwards. …And this was just lunch!
We spent the last hour of the afternoon walking around Tsaghkadzor exploring the ancient church here and walking off lunch since we still have a dinner with four AIA volunteers in Yerevan. The time with the volunteers was special as two of them brought a retired general who is the President of their soccer club. He presented Tigran and Paul with medals from the club in honor of their service to the youth soccer players of Armenia. Our teams here have done clinics with these teams, and donated monies for new uniforms, balls and Bibles for the kids. The AIA volunteers coach three youth soccer teams and seek to share their faith with the kids as they coach.
We finished the dinner with John and Paul encouraging the volunteers in their ministry. Paul encouraged them in their ministry and shared about the Sport Life Bible Study resources we are leaving with Tigran, while John cast vision to them with his ministry to U.S. college wrestlers. As John was finishing up his testimony, one of the volunteers exclaimed how this was encouraging him as he saw it as 2nd Timothy 2:2 being lived out. This in turn, encouraged both John and Paul as it showed this man understood the purpose of our time with them.
Just a note here about our MVP’s (“Most Valued People”). Without our interpreters we would literally be lost here. The three who have served us at various times have been very helpful. John said the interpreter at church this morning was probably the best he has ever had!
- AIA Sports Performance Armenia
Below: Pastor praying to open Easter Sunday services. / AIA Volunteers honor Tigran and Paul.