From Darkness to Light – September 28-29, 2018

Friday, September 28, we had an unexpected schedule change suggestion by Davit, our driver. Our original plan was to go visit the town of Etchmiadzin, an area close to Yerevan, given the fact we needed to come back for an evening event at the Opera House. You see, after we had booked our flight to Armenia, we found out that the Armenian Missionary Association of America was celebrating their Centennial in Armenia the same week we would be here; so, this was one of the events we had been offered to attend and we gladly accepted it. Davit suggested that … Read more

Broken Crosses: Sign of Life – September 27, 2018

Thank God for Davit, our 25-year-old driver, whom we met two days ago, who has become a friend to us. He confessed that he has never driven tourists outside Yerevan, so he warned us that he will not be able to tell us much historical details as a tour guide would.  My response to him was, “No, worries, Davit. I am not looking for more information to absorb, I just want to see and be in the sacred places of my heritage and let them speak to me in their silence. My mind is full already, and this sabbatical is … Read more

Tunnels of Life – September 26, 2018

Wednesday, September 26 began a little sluggish as Gary and I were still recuperating from our early flight from the day before. Our driver, Davit, had arrived at 10:00 a.m. as agreed, but we were only able to get out of the B&B by 10:15. The plan for the day was to begin from the furthest point and make our way back “home”. The drive to Dilijan is about one and a half hours. It is found in the northern part of Armenia – some call it the Switzerland of Armenia, because as soon as travelers go through the last … Read more

The Language of the Heart – September 25, 2018

Tuesday, September 25, we left my sister’s apartment at 5:00 a.m. when it was still dark, but the moon was bright and guided our path. We arrived at the Beirut–Rafic Hariri International Airport in about 18 minutes after leaving the apartment. Those of you who have read my blog titled: Praise be to God, You are Here Safely – September 12, 2018, you know that it took us 3.5 hours to get to Bourj Hammoud from the airport and not 18 minutes – what a difference the time of day makes! Unfortunately, as soon as we arrived at the airport … Read more

Protection, Perseverance, and Peace – September 22 – 24, 2018

Saturday, September 22, was a truly refreshing and a rejuvenating day. The local ministry in Tripoli had planned to take Gary and I for a walk through the forest of the Cedars of Lebanon, in the Kadisha Valley (Wadi Kadisha in Arabic: وادي قاديشا ), also known as The Holy Valley; situated 2,500 meters above sea level. The Cedars of Lebanon have always been dear to me not just because they are also referred to as the Cedars of God, or that they are mentioned so many times in the Bible (Google tells me 75 times) – They are dear … Read more

“Every Breath A Resurrection: Can These Bones Live?”  – September 19-21, 2018

September 19 was a slow day. The heat and humidity continued to press upon us. I never remember experiencing such heat and humidity, in Lebanon, in the middle of September. Maybe global warming is not such fake news after all, as a few politicians disregard this reality for their own financial gain. I am so glad that by some wisdom beyond my capabilities we had decided to make this day an unpack and pack day. Unpack what has come with us from Canada and pack what needs to go with us to the schools and the church community in Tripoli. … Read more

Humans Say, “Impossible” – God Says, “I’m Possible” – September 18, 2018

Today, September 18, 2018, Gary and I had the privilege to go visit N.E.S.T. (Near East School of Theology). This was a place that I always wanted to visit as a child. I had heard of this theological school and wondered what is it? What kind of school was it? What do they teach there? I was told it was “Asdvadzapanagan”, that’s “Theology” in Armenian. A place where individuals learn about God, a place where they prepare ministers. However, all the students, the graduates I had known, at that time, were men. I remember wondering, was God only accessible to … Read more

Reflections of a Co-Traveler – 35 Days across the Ocean

The trip to get from Ottawa to Beirut was not that eventful except for us almost not finding the gate for the plane to Geneva in Montreal (it was tucked away behind the Victoria’s Secret sign). I was not sure how I would handle so many flights and the long leg between Montreal and Geneva, but it wasn’t too bad – I guess expecting the worst make things smoother in the end. I was, however, quite surprised by the Geneva airport as I was expecting a larger airport with more modern functionality. When we arrived in Geneva, there was no … Read more

A Place of Faith, Hope and Perseverance – September 17, 2018

As our days gradually advance in Lebanon, our experiences deepen with the people around us. I met and listened to many people about their hardships and their daily struggles. Stories of children unable to go to school, young adult men and women, taking care of their parents. Some dedicated 100% to this care and unemployed, others balancing, work, children and elder parent care, as there are no government institutions to care for the ageing and the ill, unless they are admitted to the hospital or in a private retirement home, to which people have no full trust. This morning I … Read more

A Blessed Memory: Living Witnesses – September 15-16, 2018

A whirlwind of emotions has swept through these first four days in Beirut. On Saturday the 15th, before my friend came to take us to the most beautiful place in Lebanon that I had always wanted to visit, the Jeita Grotto, my nephew offered to take us to the Armenian Cemetery Center in Bourj Hammoud, as soon as he heard me say that I wanted to visit where my father, Vramchabouh, his mother, Perouz, and his sister Hripsime, have been laid to rest in an unmarked grave. For some reason, my family has not been able to mark the plot … Read more

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