Sunday morning was almost like every other Sunday for us. We prepared for church and walked over to the church just as we do in Montreal. Somethings just don't change with the Hovsepians.
Dad spoke at the Armenian Brotherhood Church of Yerevan for the last time on this trip. Notice how I gently worked that in - the brothers and sisters in Armenia have repeatedly asked for another visit and soon. They crave to be fed and they have so many questions to ask. They hunger for the truth and to learn more.
|Dad and Pastor Hovhannes doing their pre-service preparations|
|Pastor Hovhannes leading the worship. He has the gift of leadership|
You can hear dad's sermon "Do You Love Me" preached in Armenian. There are a few snippets of other parts of the worship service included as well. You will enjoy hearing their choir and a young girl singing even though you may not understand the words.
There were about a dozen of our family members who attended church to hear dad preach, including the Rumyan family. We are praying that they build solid friendships with those in the church including Araik's children. The girls of both families were already making plans to meet for pizza that was a good sign for all of us and we rejoiced for this new friendship.
There were many hugs and promises to write and visit again as we bid everyone farewell.
We then headed to Araik's home for a last meal together. It was a bittersweet time we had all come to enjoy each other's company and support over the last ten days. I will truly miss this family, I was blessed by their openness, their sincerity and the joy and love that they expressed. We shared tears and laughter together and that is what friendships are built on.
After lunch went back to the hotel to meet with the last cousin who actually lives in Philadelphia but had just arrived in Yerevan for her son's wedding on October 8th.
|Vartouhi dad's cousin from PA|
|Levon, Vartouhi's husband|
|Three cousins together|
We had a short visit before we rushed off to have dinner with Pastor Hovhannes and his beautiful wife, Shake, at a great restaurant in Yerevan. Picture this would you, five large / tall adults in a clown car whipping around corners and through the streets of Yerevan. On second thought, three of us were so tightly fitted in the back that nothing short of a Mack truck hitting us would have dislodged us from our seats.
We had a great time sharing and breaking bread together but we needed to get back and close up our bags and get some shut eye. But hold on, one more stop for a quick coffee at Hovhanne's home. Ahhh, the aroma of Armenian coffee still haunts me or is that just my mom making her morning coffee next door?
A 5:30 a.m. wake-up call is brutal but dad and I were both up and ready before the call came. At 6:00 a.m. Araik and his family were there to drive us to the airport. It was a very quiet ride not because of the hour but because we were all absorbed by our own thoughts.
At the airport we were not disappointed by the bureaucracy of the airline. We each had two bags a total of four, we checked two of them in and had our carry-ons left. The agent weighed our carry-ons, oops we were way over. How is that possible we came with the same full bags but you can't argue over there. After several whispered conferences on their part we parted with $90 US dollars just so we could take our bags on to the plane. Highway robbery.
Our farewells were quick, none of us could handle a long drawn out farewell. But there were tears involved with lots of hugs and kisses. It was not a good bye but a "see you soon".