Tourist Day

Today we had the opportunity to see some of the sights of Armenia. After we ate a hearty breakfast at the Hotel Ani, we had a team meeting to review the logistics of our trip, strengthen our team chemistry and discuss our hopes for our time in Armenia.
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Our first stop was a tour of the American University of Armenia thanks to the lovely Sabrina Agbabian, whose grandfather, Dr. Mihran Agbabian, is a co-founder of the university. We toured their recently renovated library, state of the art engineering labs, and their auditorium, which Dr. Essayan noted had tremendous acoustics. The school is flourishing, it is beautifully renovated off of an existing Soviet structure and is extremely grateful for its sponsors and donors who make education at the university level possible for Armenian students.
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The rest of our tour included visiting the Geghard Monastery and the Temple of Garni. We were able to have a sneak peak of a beautiful wedding ceremony in the monastery. Fruit rolls and were eagerly purchased on our way out of the monastery, and it’s possible that we ate our weight in them. We also ate two incredibly delicious meals and reflected on God’s extravagant love and generous provisions for us on our trip already. After we returned to the hotel, we were able to join families and friends to catch a beautiful fountain show in Republic Square. Needless to say, we had a wonderful day resulting in full hearts and stomachs that are ready and willing to pour out Christ’s love on others. Thank you for your prayers!

Blessings,
Emma Newman
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Sent to Serve

It’s the last blog post! So crazy and so sad that this week is already coming to an end. What an amazing and beautiful week it has been. Today we finished seeing patients in Stepanavan and Sisian. Our last patient in Stepanavan happened to be one of the most interesting; he had an ingrown toenail and the doctors got to perform an actual surgery.

Since it is the last post I want to dedicate it to the beautiful people of Armenia. The people that came into the clinic and also all of those who were hospitable towards us were all so rich in spirit. They came in smiling, sat down smiling, and left smiling. They were so grateful that we were there and just so happy to be alive. It was an honor and privilege to get to meet them and serve them. It was an honor and privilege to do God’s will.

Again, I thank Dr. Al and Sue, and the AMAA for this amazing mission trip that took a lot of hard work to plan and execute. All of the volunteers and translators deserve much praise as well for their time and dedication. Everyone who served this week gave their best effort and really represented Christ in all that they did. We touched hearts one appointment and one smile at a time. We did not only give them medical attention but we gave them spiritual guidance as well.

Let us remember though why we are here and why we served. John 13:16 says, “very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.” We do great works because God has sent us to do them. We do them in honor and representation of him. We are commanded to spread the love of God and to let people who have little hope know that they are loved and cared for, and that they have a family greater than the one that they know personally. The patients we saw are equal to us; we are all children of Christ. We learned and grew just as much as they did.

Thank you all for your prayers and thoughts. This week has been a blessing and a week that we will never forget. I can speak for all of us when I say that we are so thankful for the community that has formed, the bond that has been shared, and the gifts that we have been blessed with that we were able to share.

Tomorrow we are going to get to explore more and even see the Pope who is coming here to Yerevan. After that we will go separate ways as some go back to the US and some continue to travel but we will forever be united in spirit. So much fun!

Checking out.

Blessings,
Chloe Basmajian

Healing Physically and Spiritually

“Yesterday we saw the cows and today we are smelling their aromatic excretions… but it is a beautiful day and we will rejoice in what God has given us (Arpi).” This morning we woke up in beautiful Stepanavan surrounded by luscious greenery and cows. Armenia is seriously so beautiful.

We had another amazing day. Here in Stepanavan we served over 200 people. Over in Sisian they served about 140 people. Another successful day doing God’s work. Today I want to emphasize how the people that we serve are moved when we offer to pray for them after they visit the doctor. Most of them do not expect us to offer to pray and are so touched that they cry. Some of the patients even ask for the doctors, interpreters, and scribes to also pray for their family and peace within Armenia and the world. A few pastors from Yerevan came in to be seen as patients and also remarked on how we are not only healing people physically but also spiritually.


Tonight we went to Armenuhi’s house here in Stepanavan. She is one of our wonderful interpreters. It was so nice to feel the Armenian hospitality. Her parents provided us with food and drinks and we got to know a little bit about their family history. When we returned to the hotel our team joined about 20 Armenian ladies playing loud music and dancing in the lobby. We are having a blast.

Tomorrow is our last day of service. We will see patients for a half day and then are going to Lake Sevan. Pray that we continue to touch lives and finish strong! We have had a week that none of us will forget week and are loving experiencing life here in Armenia.

Blessings,
Chloe Basmajian

Hello Friends and Family!

Today was a different day than the past two. This morning we all woke up, packed, and headed out to the busses. As a group we all went to the church in Vanadzor and enjoyed breakfast and worship together. After worship, the Sisian team packed up their supplies and drove off on their 6 hour drive to the village. The Stepanavan team stayed and worked a half day in Vanadzor.
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Since a few of the doctors left for Sisian, there was a longer line than the past couple days. The patients got a bit anxious to get into the doctor’s office; one lady death stared me for about an hour because she kept trying to cut everyone in line and I would make her sit back down….it was funny…and a bit uncomfortable. The funniest thing though was when this guy came in and his smell was so pungent and horrible that everyone who was waiting in line patiently and anxiously let him go in first, just so that he could leave and they could breathe again.Random fun fact: Dr. Tashjian has all the old ladies lined up! He’s pretty amazing. He had a few patients today that he has seen for several years…how cool! Him and Dr. Daderian together served 62 patients today in about 3 hours. Unreal! They are true blessings!

Shoutout to Armine and Brad for running the pharmacy so efficiently. Their work is a key part of this trip and we are so thankful for their hard work.

Also shoutout to Dr. Barb Tashjian, Levon, and Dr. Basmajian for not only helping clean children’s teeth, but more importantly, teaching them about how to brush their teeth and maintain good dental hygiene.

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We have now arrived in Stepanavan and have set up clinic in the local church. The Sisian group has also arrived safely.  Keep them in your prayers as they are there for the first time and answering many prayers.The Sisian church had been praying since February that the medical mission team would come to their church, and just a few months later God answered that prayer, and the team decided to go to Sisian. The pastor from the Sisian church even came to Vanadzor just to see what our team does so that he can make the best accommodations there for them as possible. They are very excited and so are we!

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We are ready for tomorrow, and God willing, we will continue to bless the lives of people here in Armenia.Arpi and I are now playing backgammon with some local Armenians in the hotel. They’re having a conversation… I’m just chilling… Oh, now they just told me that they hope that next year, I come back, fluent in Armenian so that I can marry an Armenian boy and have lots of babies… Time for me to go to bed.

Blessings,
Chloe Basmajian

Serving Together With Love

Between the first and second day here in Vanadzor we served 560 people. Our medical team consists of nine doctors including a pharmacist, dentists, a chiropractor, orthopedic surgeons, OB/gyn, nurses, students in the medical field and lay persons such as myself. In addition, we have young women who attend the local university serving as interpreters as well as a local physician and dentist. The pharmacy team has worked tirelessly filling prescriptions of 100 different medications. It is a very cohesive group of people serving together with love for each other as well as the patients. We must also give thanks and praise for the women of the Vanadzor church who have prepared three meals each day for us as well as serving us fruit and pastries while we worked. All of these groups of people are individual parts of the body of Christ, each essential, and working as one.

Although I have no medical interest, seeing the work being done and patients so happy is truly inspiring. Today a lot of the patients were helping me learn Armenian while they waited to see their doctor. Every time I would try to say something, I would fail, and they would all laugh at me in unison…but hey, at least I put some smiles on their faces right?

Today, Dr. Glidewell had a patient who had two broken legs, Dr. Bogosian had someone who nearly had a heart attack, Dr.  Phillips had a 36 year old with breast cancer, and Dr. Ruth looked great in her scrubs. The patients are very grateful and well deserving of our service. They all refer to us as their brothers and sisters and love to say “thank you,” “I love you,” and “God bless you”…of course in Armenian, but I’m still working on that. Overall, it was another beautiful day of service and we are so thankful for all that God has provided and for what He is doing in the lives of the patients as well as ourselves.

Tomorrow, half of us will be heading to Stepanavan, and half of us will be heading to Sisian to continue our service. Please keep us in your prayers, especially the team going to Sisian, as this is the first year that they will be going there.

Blessings,
Chloe Basmajian

In Vanadzor: First Day at Clinic

What an AWESOME day that they Lord has provided us! We served more than 250 people here in Vanadzor. The doors opened and all the beautiful people just started flooding in. Most people were extremely happy and appreciative; there were only a handful of people overly anxious and assertive. It’s totally understandable since for these people this is really their only opportunity to see a doctor all year, which is the main reason of why this program is so special. Seeing smiles that radiate Jesus and happiness coming out of the doctor’s offices is great proof of what good works come out of these mission trips.

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Here are a couple funny highlights of the day. Michael Glidewell was told that he was beautiful by an old lady while taking urine samples. That’s always a good time to flirt. Then, what I thought was a compliment on my smile turned out to be a lady asking me to marry her son. Not only that but I was also sitting next to him at the time. It was pretty awkward. But really, these people are just so sweet. They come in and are just thankful to talk to people. Even if you are unable to speak Armenian, they are happy to talk and see you smile and give them a hug and kiss and simply say “God bless you.”

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The patients commonly have high blood pressure, diabetes, body aches, and headaches. And then there were some with tumors and some with babies! The children that come in are so adorable! Joyce had a beautiful connection with one 12 year old girl. She definitely made the girl, Mariam, and her family’s day when she gave the young disabled girl a soccer ball with a smile and a whole lot of love, all from the glory of God.

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The doctors and volunteers that are here are truly spectacular representations of people rich in spirit. They show nothing but love and guidance and care so much about the patients. Everyone on this team is a true child of Christ and want nothing more than to serve and live for Him.

Let us not forget though that these patients are in turn teaching us and helping us grow in our faith as well. We are all so excited to see what else this week holds for us!

Blessings,
Chloe Basmajian