Thank you all so much for following our blog and mission trip activities with interest, and for the encouraging comments you've been leaving for us on Facebook. Knowing that people care about what's happening here in Armenia keeps us going.
Thursday was an interesting day for us. We encountered the most heart-rending situation of our trip thus far, and then had the opportunity to see a completely different part of Armenia that was almost "fun". . .a real contrast.
In the morning we joined Arayik and Nelli to visit Seta, an elderly lady who has been on her death-bed for the past 10 months, and her daughter-in-law Arpig. It was very difficult to visit Seta's room and witness her physical condition. Her body has been reduced to skin and bones--and that skin is covered in wounds, some of them open. Her own children have abandoned her and her daughter-in-law selflessly cares for her day and night, while also raising two young adult children. Pastor Joseph spoke to Seta about eternal life and making peace with God and, with barely audible words, she did profess faith in Jesus and prayed for forgiveness of her sins, surrending her life to Christ. Our prayer is that she will not suffer much longer. We also prayed with Arpig and tried to encourage her in her faith, which she says is the only thing that keeps her going in these trying circumstances.
A couple of hours later, we met with Emma, a journalist we met on a previous mission trip after she contacted us to say that she had been given Pastor Joseph's book, God's Workshop, and wanted to talk to him. Emma took us to one of her favourite places: an exotic park and restaurant called Jambo. Here we saw many interesting animals (such as monkeys, parrots, lemurs, arctic foxes, horses, rabbits, etc.) It was refreshing to walk through beautiful greenery and be reminded of God's creativity. Afterward we stopped at a restaurant called Old Jrvezh, which looked a bit like it could be a ranch in Texas! We enjoyed catching up with her and Pastor Joseph encouraged her to continue growing in her relationship with Christ.
Later in the evening, we met with relatives on a quiet pedestrian-only street and chatted over ice cream and coffee, a nice wind-down to our day.
We've even had some interesting encounters in our hotel. This morning Pastor Joseph gave the Greek version of our tract, What Are You Searching for?, to an employee who grew up in Greece. She and her sister both work here and we've enjoyed chatting with them during our stay. Also, the last couple of mornings, the same gentleman has been sitting near us during breakfast. This morning we learned that he is a Columbian who works for Red Cross and is based in Moscow. We exchanged some of our experiences and gave him our business card.
Please continue to pray for us as we begin to slowly wrap things up for this trip. We have five full days left, besides next Wednesday, which will be our day for packing and making preparations for the long journey home. It's amazing to think that a week from now we'll be back home, God willing!