Sports Performance - Armenia Project
Now that the team is back on American soil and has had a couple days to readjust to our respective time zones, I finally have time to recap the last bit of our tour.
On our last day (Saturday) in Armenia we had the opportunity to visit the Armenian Genocide Museum in Yerevan. The experience was something that is hard to put into words, even days after visiting. It was utterly heart-wrenching to read about and see the tyranny the Armenians went through in the early 1900s.
After a somber morning and a visit to a street market for some souvenirs, we headed over to Florence a restaurant alongside a river. At this dinner we invited the administration and faculty from the Kinesiology Institute as well as the New Life Armenia staff. This was the culmination of our mission for the trip. To plant the seeds at the Kinesiology Institute and open the door for the NLA staff to come in and follow-up on the relationships we had built. By using our education and knowledge in the field of sports performance we were able to open the door at the Institute for future Sports Performance Tours and a way for NLA to come in. The Rector (headmaster) and the head of NLA sat across from each other at dinner and had wonderful conversation throughout the dinner. Halfway through the dinner, Varden (the head of NLA) looked at Paul and said "this is AWESOME" because of the openness the Rector showed towards NLA's presence at the Institute. Previously, no missions minded organization or Christian establishment was allowed in the Institute. Now the Rector welcomes NLA's presence and is encouraging students and faculty to take part in the English classes NLA offers. At the English classes, NLA presents The Gospel.
Armenians like food. They also like dancing.
Often times, when Christians go on short-term missions they think they are going to change the world by building a house in Africa in 2 weeks and bring hundreds of people to Christ. Reality is that isn't realistic. Very often, short-term missions is more about seed-planting than actually being able to watch the harvest come in. This was the first tour I have been on where the emphasis was on seed-planting. But what a joy to be planting seeds that are already reaping a harvest! The Rector insisted we come back in the fall and asked if we could take bi-annual trips. He also suggested sending Armenian students to America in the future! Praise God for all the work being done in the hearts of the administration at the Kinesiology Institute. As well as the persistent praying of the NLA staff. It was a joy and privilege to come and serve alongside the New Life Armenia staff.
Until Next Time,
- Camille A.
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