Friday, April 28, 2017

Minute for Mission - Monday Was Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day

The men were taken first, then the women and children were brutalized. Witnesses saw the Euphrates run red with blood, and women plunged into the river to escape the terrors of the desert march. Armenian villages throughout the Ottoman territories of 1915 were emptied in a systematic campaign to demean and destroy innocent victims. Although modern-day Turkey actively denies this genocide, historians have gathered undisputable evidence of at least a million Armenians killed and a million more dispersed from their ancient homeland.

Today’s Armenia is the size of Maryland, locked among Turkey, Russia, Azerbaijan and Iran. Over 90percent Christian, this post-Soviet republic is a miracle of survival. Yet the lives of women and children are still at risk. In the remote, deeply impoverished Vardenis region, there is virtually no access to health care. Villages lack reliably clean water. Expectant mothers lack proper prenatal care and birth rates are low. Without early cancer screenings, death rates from breast cancer in Armenia are among the highest in the world.

But this is beginning to change. The Jinishian Memorial Program, an outreach of World Mission, began sending free mobile medical clinics to one village at a time, reaching nearly 600 women in its first year. Most had gynecological disorders. Many obtained vital surgeries and began cancer treatment plans. Women desperate for medical intervention finally had an advocate with the expertise to shepherd them through Armenia’s complex health care system. The program was funded solely through Jinishian donors.

New plans for a telemedicine center in Vardenis will make an even greater impact. Supported by a local family physician, patients will have access to specialists through teleconferencing. Jinishian is also making ultrasound clinics widely available and training specialists to focus on infant disability prevention. Through economic development programs, several communities are implementing grants from Jinishian to construct pipelines to provide clean water.

Because our God is a redeeming God, even genocide is not the end. Jinishian’s mission throughout the Middle East is to bring dignity and hope where there are poverty and despair through relief, development and spiritual uplift.  You can join Jinishian’s work by giving, or visit Armenia in person on a mission encounter tour October 6-16, 2017.

Cara Taylor, Jinishian Memorial Program

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