Tag Archive for: Armenia

Empath’s Christmas

Next Step with Fr. Vazken #705: Interview with Alina Samuelian of FLY – Freedom Loving Youth, after her recent outreach in Gyumri. Hear this energetic empath give her first-hand account of life and living conditions in areas of the world hit by tragedy. From Syria to Lebanon to Armenia, FLY reaches out to those in need. Here’s their story articulated by a front-line worker. All this, in the context of Jesus and the “Great Banquet”
Christian Giving, Luke 14:12-24
Freedom Loving Youth
Armenian Earthquake 30 years later
2021 Toy Drive
Children’s Memorial
Peacemakers – Gabriel & Katie Jay
Earlier interview in Armenian
Isabel Bayrakdarian
Cover: In Gyumri FLY meets with mother and son

Connecting with FLY
Website
Facebook: Freedom Loving Youth-FLY
Instagram: freedom.loving.youth
YouTube
Venmo account: @fly-freedomlovingyouth
Firewood Fundraiser

Produced by Suzie Shatarevyan for InHisShoes.org
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Dimensional Fighting

Next Step with Fr. Vazken #702: Fighting, violence and killings in Armenia: The case of the bad neighborhood. Are there spiritual solutions to political and physical problems? The Holy Eucharist comes into focus as US Catholic Bishop issue a statement.
Azerbaijan attacks Armenia
US Catholic Bishops Vote
John Carr’s analysis
Yerevan to Paris: Jazz-Iz-Christ
VOA
Cover: Office of RA Ombudsman, 11/16/21, Armenian Weekly
Produced by Suzie Shatarevyan for InHisShoes.org
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When VR was all we had

Next Step #681: The virtual church, the virtual nation and virtual Armenia existed long before the pandemic forced virtual realities to interact. Looking beyond the politics of the latest election. Caution against throwing out the baby with the bathwater. The “awe” of religion, expressed in numbers and math. The billion-hour phenomena of YouTube. From “Evil Empire” to “Velvet Revolution”.
AP Election News
WD168 this week
Gorbachev US trip cut short
Bishop Sebu: Baptism in a Shack
Encountering Anew: Vazken I
Vazken I visit to America: Anna Movsesian memoires
First Armenian Bulletin Board System
YouTube at 1 billion
Element Band
Cover: NetZero Stained Glass
Produced by Suzie Shatarevyan for InHisShoes.org
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Intent & Direct

 

Next Step #648: A time portal is opened to reveal a tsunami that was once the reason for Armenian benevolence. How doing unto others is a model for saving a nation. As War in Artsakh, and increased talk of inhumane atrocities and the existential threat, here is some direction toward self reliance and finding a place in the resistance effort. No doubt Tirdat saw something powerful here.
Invitation to a Revolution: Fr. Vazken’s 11/1/2020 sermon
UWLA Panel on Artsakh 10/30/20
Window II.2, International Clergy Conference 1991
Tsunami Relief 2004 Poster – In His Shoes
Early days of SAIN 
WD168 This week 
Prunus Armeniaca 
Anahit Goudsouzian
Cover: Monastic lookout 2014 Fr. Vazken
Engineered by Ken Nalik
Produced by Suzie Shatarevyan for InHisShoes.org
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Zero to power of 10

Next Step #643: War in Artsakh: News we hope would never happen but deep down knew it would. Azerbaijan: A case for systemic racism. Attack while the world is asleep: 1915 and today, taking advantage of the moment. What does it mean to have faith? To overcome evil with the good? The power of Miuron and the strength for the entire army. Questions for the Christian reconciling the peacemaker of the beatitudes. Juxtaposing the faith in Christ next to the reality of war. Identity and reconciliation: Double hypocrisy.
Cat Stevens Peace Train
All Armenia Fund – give safely and generously
The Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict explained
Artsakh conflict visually explained
Archbishop Barkev of Artsakh interviewed (Armenian)
WD168 this week
Prayer Service for the Army with Fr. Vazken’s Message
Jethro Tull: One White Duck/Zero to power of 10
John Lennon: Imagine 
Cover: Artsakh Cross; 2019 Susan Movsesian
Technical Director: Ken Nalik
Produced by Suzie Shatarevyan for InHisShoes.org
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3 Across; 8 Down

Next Step #601: Senate passes Genocide Resolution: bigger miracle than stars in the sky flashing is the change of heart. Puzzled: Looking for Jesus in the crosswords and finding in a Soviet sale of a Shnorhali book? Yes, puzzled. Armenian Patriarch of Turkey elected. Sophia Armen: the “erasure” factor. Moon craters explained: Children’s Memorial thoughts.
Element Band “Spirit of Christmas”
Sophia Armen, L.A. Times
Senate passes Genocide Resolution (unanimously) Menendez
Armenian Patriarch of Turkey Elected
Jesus, Vorti (Son) 
Engineered by Ken Nalik
Produced by Suzie Shatarevyan for InHisShoes.org
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Good Fish

Next Step #591: Returning from Armenia, the opening of the Sasnashen Youth Center, visits to the sacred and the meaning behind them. Forgiveness in action – hugging the perpetrators of the crime. A new and healthier definition for fanaticism connected to the love of God. Reading English in Armenian (like transliteration…) and a case for foreign obsessions. Why the monasteries? the language? the 36 letters? and an Armodox answer.
Nazeli by Haig Yazedjian
Hugging the Murderer
Sasnashen Article 1
Sasnashen Article 2
Cover: Coke & Beer, Dilijan 2019, Fr. Vazken
Engineered by Ken Nalik
Produced by Suzie Shatarevyan for InHisShoes.org
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Closed Box Church

Next Step #581: Back from Armenia and specifically a visit to the village of Sasnashen, site of the US Air Force C-130 Shoot Down, Fr. Vazken debriefs with the listeners in this episode. A preliminary look at the Sasnashen Youth Center Project. Closed boxed churches to keep God away from us: The need for relevance here, there and everywhere. Financial responsibility in the church: PETA would be proud of this model! Living legends continue to inspire with music – McCartney and Anderson. Touching Armenia via the spirit: Saluting the unsung heroes. And much more.
Get Back by the Beatles
Liyah Babayan – Refugee Interview (NPR)
Sasnashen Story (July 2019)
Transfiguration – Fr. Vazken’s Message
For Michael Collins, Andrew and Dad
ANCA – Middle East Christians
Scrambled Eggs (pre-Yesterday)
Email us at feedback@epostle.net
Technical Director: Ken Nalik
Produced by Suzie Shatarevyan for InHisShoes.org
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Sasnashen Youth Center

Walking In His Shoes in… Sasnashen Village in the Town of Talin, Armenia

A place for kids to feel welcome, share and explore options to maximize their potential

Introduction:

Last Summer, at the request of the Prop Wash Gang I was invited to the Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska to offer the keynote address at their gathering commemorating the 60th Anniversary of the shoot-down of US Air Force C-130 #60528. Before going any further…  let’s get the obvious questions out of the way: Why a priest of the Armenian Church? at a US Air Force base? to a group of hundreds of servicemen and their families? So let’s back up 60 years…

In 1958 – during the height of the Cold War – a United States Air Force C-130 flying a reconnaissance mission on the Turkish/Armenian border was shot down by the Soviets. The plane crashed in the village of Sasnashen, Armenia and lost its entire crew of 17 servicemen. The Soviets did not admit to the severity of the tragedy until after the fall of the USSR and by 1992 – some 34 years after the incident – the remains of all 17 men were returned to the United States for proper recognition and committal. Since that time commemorations have been taken place, including the placing of a khatchkar (cross stone) and a monument at the crash site with visits by U.S. military and government officials.

Now… on the evening of September 2, 2018, exactly 60 years to the date of the crash I stood before the servicemen and their families. I explained that in 1958 Armenia was completely occupied, that is, the place where the C-130 took-off (Van) was in Armenia occupied by the Turks and that where the plane crashed was occupied by the Soviets. After speaking about Armenian history and our faith as Christian, there in Nebraska, I offered the requiem hymn and prayer of the Armenian Church for the souls of the 17 victims of the shoot-down.

The group honored me by giving me a framed piece of the tail of the fallen plane. Then, spontaneously they took up a collection and asked that I use it to benefit the children of Sasnashen. Here, I had to confess that I did not know where Sasnashen was but I also promised that from this point on I would not travel to Armenia without visiting the village which had brought us and tied us together 60 years after the tragedy.

On October 25, 2018, I made it to the village of Sasnanshen – about 65km out of Yerevan toward the Northwest border of Armenia. The closest town is Talin (about 10 kms away) with a population of about 4,000. Through our Armenian Church I connected with Fr. Tade Tamazyan, the priest of the Talin and a number of villages that surround the Town, one of those villages being Sasnashen (population 750). My deacon Hrayr Nalbandian, drove us up to there and together with the priest we climbed a rocky road to the crash-site where a monument stands in this remote and obscure corner of the world. It is a tall standing memorial with a plaque written in both Armenian and English:

September 2, 1958

We must never forget that freedom is never really free.
It is the most costly thing in the world.
Freedom is never paid in a lump sum.
Installments come due in every generation.
All any of us can do is offer the generations
that follow a chance for freedom.

There, under the open skies and the silence of the village we offered a prayer for the 17 fallen servicemen as well as a prayer for peace.

 

In His Shoes’ Involvement

Since 2003 the In His Shoes ministry has actively initiated programs that effect and benefit some of the most impoverished and violence infected areas of the world, including in areas such as Darfur, Syria and Rwanda. After a recent project with the Starkey Foundation to provide hearing aids for over 2,000 inhabitants in Yerevan, we made a conscious decision to move beyond the limits of Yerevan with our assistance so to stay closer to our charter and so that our contributions can be directed in these often forgotten and overlooked regions.

In Sasnashen, beyond the economic challenges of village life, there are few, if any, opportunities for young people to advance in education, or even to explore and exploit their potential. There are government schools but after school-hours and on weekends the children end up on the rural roads without supervision and/or guidance. Father Tade has access to the schools and offers weekly classes to children in the village schools and is known and recognized youth. We decided to use the Prop Wash

Gang funds to further opportunities for youth in the Sasnashen village by creating a Center for after school-hours, where young people can feel welcome, share and explore options to maximize their potential in life.

With the encouragement and blessing of Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, the Primate of the Western Diocese we quickly began work on organizing this program called “Sasnashen Youth Center.”  The Catholicos of All Armenians, HH Kareken II gave a small house directly across the street from the Talin church with the understanding that it would be used as a gathering place for youth. The collected funds were used to bring the house up to standards for a meeting place. We repaired the plumbing, installed a kitchenette, lavatory and new windows.  We have been monitoring the renovation process via pictures and videos sent to us by Fr. Tade.

On July 18, 2019 I personally made a trip to the area to monitor progress and meet with Fr. Tade and others to discuss the program. I also met with the head of the Aragatsotn Diocesan, Bishop Mkrtich Proshyan to assure a proper working relationship between all of our parties. He officially pronounced the name of this project as Sasnashen Youth Center and we are scheduled to open on September 29, 2019. It will be dedicated in the name of the servicemen who perished in the village in 1958. A framed piece of the plane will be presented to the Center at that time.

This is a place where young people can first and foremost feel welcome, safe and loved. It is a gathering place to study, to learn, or merely congregate after school.  We furnished the room and provided computers with internet connections so that we can visit remotely. Fr. Tade plans to bring speakers and mentors with specialties to direct and share time with the kids.

If successful, this can be a pilot project which can be replicated in villages for a low cost and can take advantage of local resources – personnel and physical spaces – which are often overlooked. In this case, those resources were found in the apartment/house which was vacant and unused because of its condition and a priest who has unique access and connection to the young people.

-Fr. Vazken Movsesian

Some links:

Talin in Armenia

Shoot Down of US Air Force C-130 Flight 60528

Fr. Vazken’s Blog on Visiting Sasnashen

 

Review time

Next Step #580: From Sasnashen Armenia, here is a review of the events leading to the In His Shoes project and Fr. Vazken’s visit to the village and area of Talin. More on exorcism – connecting dots to the spirits that move us – demonic possession, et al. Explained: The opposite of the God-job? Replay of Next Step #543 (2018) and Next Step #70 (2009) … including an Ani Bubbles!
En Dizan – Luys Vocal Quintet
Next Step #70
Next Step #543
Cover Photo: Khatchkars at Talin
Technical Director: Ken Nalik
Produced by Suzie Shatarevyan for InHisShoes.org
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