Bishop Ward and Nara Melkonyan talk about the impact Project Agape has on the children of Armenia. Project Agape is a joint-mission of the North Carolina Conference and the Western North Carolina Conferences.
Grace and peace to you.
This is the third week in Advent. The Advent wreath burns more brightly. Three candles, a candle for hope, a candle for peace, a candle for joy. It has been a joy to be engaged with Project Agape for almost 26 years and Nara Melkonyan has been the director of this project for 22 years. Nara tell us about Project Agape.
Project Agape started 26 years ago in Armenia in the landlocked country in the South Caucasus where an earthquake happened, war with a neighboring country for the independence of Artsakh, and the dissolution of the Soviet Union, followed by the collapse of the economy so Project Agape started with humanitarian aid, with helping people to survive those awful conditions and it now continues to help them to become self-sustaining and one of those wonderful projects is a cattle project, a chicken project, a garden project that helps people to have their milk, eggs, and vegetables and also the wonderful project of Christmas boxes that provides children with their only Christmas gifts during the holiday season.
Thank you for preparing boxes for children in a land far away. Yet, we are very closely connected. Nara has been with us for several weeks speaking in our churches and sharing the good news of the generosity that flows to children.
It’s such a joy to give the boxes to the kids and to see the shining eyes of the kids and to receive the next question, “When are you having another Christmas event?” So this is a wonderful project that started in 2008 when we received the first 255 Christmas boxes and now we have more than enough for 5,000 children in the region which has the highest concentration of refugees, displaced people and this will continue I hope with the generosity of many people in North Carolina. United Methodists who are the only ones who could not stay indifferent to the suffering of those people.
May Christ be with you. You’re our dear friend. We love you very much.
Thank you and may God bless you all United Methodists of North Carolina without whom Armenians living in this area would not be able to carry the cross of Jesus Christ.