europe: June 07, 2016
Between February 27 - March 2, 2016, my wife and myself had the opportunity to meet the Chanitzagans – the Lebanese Endeavorers. Beyond personal, fraternal – and why not – presidential curiosity, the motive of this visit was to tighten relationship of World’s CE Union to CE in Lebanon. Meeting face to face – not only through Facebook – is a proper way to serve this purpose. We enjoyed the hospitality of the family of Rev. Raffi Messerlian and his wife, Kayane.
CE in Lebanon is the youth work of the Union of Armenian Evangelical Churches in the Near East (UAECNE). CE groups exist in the four congregations of AEC from Beirut and the one in Anjar.
Meeting with Pastor Sevag Trashian
On February 27, Saturday evening, around 25 Endeavorers of the four churches from Beirut met at the First AEC for prayer, along with four pastors from Armenia. This meeting was part of the 135th CE-Birthday celebrations. CE in Lebanon partnered in prayer with CE Hawaii. Christ’s promise, that our triple effort in prayer – asking, seeking and knocking (Mt 7:7) – will not remain unanswered, encouraged us in bringing our requests and our thanksgiving to the Throne of Grace.
The February 28 Sunday service in the Burj Hammoud district of Beirut was a special one: an account was given about youth work. Lively songs, reports and the testimony of a teenager about how his faith was kindled and his life changed in the summer camp, made this event unforgettable.
On Sunday afternoon we attended the fundraising banquet of CE in Lebanon. The cca. 200 participants – old and young –, who came from all over the country, were offered a nice meal, a cultural program, an opportunity to meet each other and also to donate in order to support the summer camps organized by CE Lebanon.
Datev Basmajian, youth pastor of CE in Lebanon, toured us next day through the offices of the UAECNE, then through the KCHAG, the summer campsite of the CE in Lebanon. By God’s grace, the premises of the latter, which for more than a decade of civil war were occupied and severely damaged by military, could be claimed back. Except of some buildings, which still bear the marks of that sad period, the other ones were nicely renovated, and now serve for the advancing of God’s kingdom among young people.
CE in Lebanon serves so far uninterruptedly by wars and enjoys freedom to serve together with the Church of which it is part. This movement gives faithful servants for church, education and other facets of the Lebanese society.
Thanks to the hospitality of our Lebanese Armenian brothers and sisters, we’ve been taken to heights (mountain tops) and depths (Jeita Grotto), to land and see, to memorials of sad historical events (the Armenian Genocide) and sites which display God’s enjoyable work in the present (schools, social institutions) in a remarkable way.
Chanitzagans showed an interest in tightening their relationship to the WCEU and to other national unions. Will they be interested in taking CE to the evangelical churches in Armenia also? Will CE in Syria survive the present situation? Questions to pray for, to think about, to work on. Let’s do so.
June 07, 2016, 08:43 h by Kálmán Adorján, WCEU President.