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  • Writer's pictureRichard Parrish

Armenia Update: Refugees

We know suffering exists in our world. We can’t escape it. Each day, news coverage shows affliction. War-torn villages. Children and families destitute, wondering where they will find their next meal. Fires destroying people’s homes.

The non-stop images have a way of dulling our senses.

And there is something that further compounds this dulling. We can unconsciously inoculate our emotions, because there is too much misery to handle. We convince ourselves that this suffering is happening to people elsewhere—in other parts of the world.

But many of those people across the world are our brothers and sisters in Christ—our true “adopted” family. An area that has recently experienced an escalated conflict is the Artsakh region of Armenia. Our ministry works closely with churches in Armenia. It was heartbreaking to hear that recently, Azerbaijan forcibly drove Armenians out of the region. The conflict escalated from argument to violence, and overnight, over 100,000 Armenians had to leave their homes to save their lives.

Our ministry is assisting the churches there to secure food, clothing, and necessities. One pastor told me, “Our church is doing all we can to respond to the needs of these refugees arriving in our community.” He thanked me for the support we have already provided.

As I listened to him, I discovered that the refugees, regardless of their faith background, are confused, discouraged, and questioning: “Why, what’s next, and how are we going to survive?

Suffering always encourages these questions. And while it can be easier for us to allow distance to dilute our despair and our responsibility, the author of Hebrews reminds us:

“Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters. Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it” (Hebrews 13:1-2).

Let’s not allow distance to keep us from offering hospitality. I invite you to join us in extending mercy and love to Armenian refugees. Your gift—large or small—will provide food, clothing, and necessities for these brothers and sisters.

Thank you for your prayers and support.

-Richard Parrish


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