As I write this blog, I’m sitting in the Paris airport waiting for a connecting flight to Yerevan, Armenia. I’m with a team of five women traveling together on a mission trip to do leadership training for the Armenian women.
As is my modus operandi, I was up late last night finishing up the packing, trying to figure out what kind of clothes I’d need, where I’d put my European converter, how much would my suitcase weigh, etc. I seem to travel quite a bit so you’d think I’d be good at packing by now, but not so much. As it turns out, the temperature today is 43° F. I am woefully unprepared for that temperature so hopefully it’ll be a little warmer once we get to Yerevan.
By the time I finally crawled into bed last night (well, technically it was early this morning) my mind was still racing when my body was supposed to be settling in for a few hours of sleep. I got to thinking about the incredible opportunities I’ve had to travel on mission trips. If you had told me ten years ago that in a few short years I would have visited Southeast Asia, Swaziland, Mozambique, South Africa, Russia and now Armenia, I would have scoffed. Never in my wildest dreams would I believe God would call me to these amazing countries.
It was two and half years ago when God first called me to go to Armenia. When I told my husband, John, about God’s call he said, “Is it safe there?” Well, I had no idea. Truth be told I didn’t even know where Armenia was located. All I knew was that God had called me and I planned to go. When I contemplated this last night I realized that even if it wasn’t a “safe” area, I would still follow God’s call. This kind of thinking scares my mother. But seriously, how could I possibly say no to God? That doesn’t seem very smart. In the book of Isaiah the Lord promises that if we follow Him we will be His light and we’ll have His protection. Isaiah 58:8 says “. . . then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.”
As it turns out, Armenia is a fairly safe country. In fact, during our flight I read through the Team Manual (which I probably should have read sooner) and found out that Armenia officially accepted Christianity as its national religion in 301 AD, making it the first Christian nation. They celebrated 1700 years of Christianity in 2001. Imagine the history! It is even believed that two of Christ’s apostles, Thaddeus and Bartholomew, planted churches in Armenia on their missionary journeys.
As for where Armenia is located; it’s an itty-bitty country located east of Turkey, north of Iran, west of Azerbaijan and south of Georgia. It also borders Mt. Ararat, which as you know, is where Noah’s Ark landed after the great flood.
As I mentioned earlier, while we are here, we’ll be doing leadership training and helping with some worship nights for women. I am so excited for what God is going to do. I will, hopefully, be blogging throughout the week so please check back to see what’s happening. In the meantime, the team and I would covet your prayers.