Location Map for Malawi

 spent several months during the summer of 2000 working in Armenia in conjunction with
Tearfund's Transform Team 2000
This is a brief report


This summer I had the opportunity to go to Armenia on a Tearfund transform team with 11 other Christians from Britain. On hearing I was going to Armenia I knew little of the country where I would spend 6 weeks this summer, I wasn't even sure where it was! Armenia is situated north east of Turkey, is neighboured by Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Iran. Over the years Armenia has suffered many hardships, an earthquake in 1988, war with Azerbaijan and in 1991 it split from the USSR to become independent with subsequent economic collapse. It has hostile neighbours and has generally suffered hardships throughout the years, even now it is economically weak but there is a general improvement in living conditions.

While we were in Armenia we were hosted by Hamlet, the head of the Brotherhood of the Apostolic church (the evangelical wing of the Armenian Orthodox church) and his wife Jemma, who leads the Tearfund project we worked on. The brotherhood is one of Tearfund's partners, with an evangelical style of worship but with its roots in orthodoxy.

While we were there we assisted with building projects and encouraged the church. Jemma started the project on her own in 1996, by simply helping out friends and neighbours, with Tearfund's support the project now supports 146 different families all over Armenia. The project helps people to help themselves by providing money and a stimulus for people to buy materials to repair, or rebuild homes and they gradually pay this back, it is amazing what a couple of hundred pounds can do! Jemma has the difficult task of deciding on projects and who to help when there is so much need, the projects have been a great way for the brotherhood to reach out and change many people's lives by showing the love and grace of God through this. The team took an active role in this by helping out at various projects, basically "we shifted" - we shifted many bricks, sand, stones, generally we did non-skilled work, but it was great to see the difference we could make, and how encouraged the workers and families were by us helping out.

We also did a lot of church work; we visited many churches and meetings. We were blessed with a great translator so we were able to lead many meetings. We shared our testimonies, sang, some people from my team preached and we prayed, we just generally did, and shared, what we could.

I could write all day about my experiences in Armenia, there is so much I could say. The people we stayed with and met were an inspiration to us all, they have such joy and peace even though life can be tough. They had a real heart for their country, a real pride and desire to see it strengthened and for more people to come to know God. The team time was great as well, devotions and bible studies were inspiring, we learnt from each other and have made great friends

I learnt loads this summer, I am so glad to have had this opportunity to open my eyes to a truer knowledge of God and to open my eyes to the world around me.

Thanks for
prayers and support!!