February 2009
“FOLLOW ME” Newsletter
Dear friend, We at NLI have enjoyed an interesting month of February, and here I am to share the highlights with you!

As you may know NLI has come to existence and grown to today’s reality due to the devotion and sacrificial ministry of Dr. Petros Malakyan and his wife, Mrs. Anahit Malakyan for nearly eight years. Now it’s more than one year that they have entrusted the ministry to us, their disciples, and continue their support as spiritual advisors and sponsors. And the first week of February was a special time for NLI due to the visit of Petros and Anahit Malakyan to Armenia. We had been missing them for a whole year, and this week of live communication, sharing, encouragements and just love, was really needed. Dr. Malakyan had meetings with each ministry team, NLI Board, individuals. We even had the chance to celebrate his birthday together! Our hope is that God will provide them chances to visit Armenia more often than once a year: since we receive special inspiration and get reestablished in our commitment due to advice and encouragement of those whose vision is embodied in NLI.

Just the next week we were blessed with two other Armenians who live in California, US. Fr. Vazken Movsesian, parish priest of St. Peter Armenian Apostolic Church in Glendale, and Deacon Varouzhan, his son, were invited to the Holy See of Echimadzin to participate in meetings and celebration of Sr. Ghevondiants and St. Vardanants holydays of the Armenian Apostolic Church. Knowing about this, Dr. Malakyan had asked them to visit NLI while being in Armenia. They had a meeting with about 30 old and new members of NLI community. Fr. Vazken’s speech was the Vardanants martyrdom. He invited us to view it from a current perspective – why do we celebrate that event of 5th century today, what is its meaning for us now? Well, it’s true that we have had numerous other wars and battles in our history, but we do not honor the memory of all of them the same way as the memory of martyrs of this war. Fr. Vazken lead us to the realization that the Vardanants war was not merely with the Persian king, it was, and still continues with the evil force behind, the force that tries to make every Christian in the world to deny his or her faith and devotion to Christ. We, who are living our earthly lives today, are tempted by the evil in various means to deny Christ, and fight our part of the war to the end of our lives. May the Holy Spirit bless Fr. Vazken with a fresh breath, just like the one that we received through him from the Holy Spirit!

At the end of 2008, NLI Board had developed a questionnaire for conducting a survey among our community regarding the overall spiritual maturity and aspects that might be improved. A need for Biblical talks was revealed, and soon God opened a solution as well. Fr. Komitas Hovnanyan, the supervisor of all Youth Centers of the Armenian Apostolic Church in Armenia, who had been a guest speaker during the Fall 2008 Alpha course, was much loved by our young people. So, we asked Fr. Komitas to have weekly meetings at NLI, when he would enlighten different issues from Biblical perspective and answer the questions raised. To our great joy, Fr. Komitas now joins us every Thursday evening, and about 30-35 people faithfully attend these meetings.

Last time I had mentioned that after completing an Alpha course last fall, 12 of the participants were looking forward to the continuation – the “Following Jesus” Discipleship class. It started on February 07, and Dr. Petros Malakyan led the first lesson. Armen Abrahamyan, my husband co-leads this course with Arevik Musoyan (both NLI Christ-Like Leadership course graduates). Armen was telling me how one of the participants had asked them a typical question new converts often have: “how did the human race grow if Adam and Eve had given life to two men, and one of them had killed the other?” We remembered that we both had asked this same question years ago. It’s such a joy to watch someone’s growth in Christ, and even more – to serve as a tool for that growth….

May I finish with asking for your prayers for NLI ministries and young people serving in those. Particularly, please pray for Yana Tarverdian’s family: Yana is a student of 20, volunteering at NLI office for two years already. Her mother is seriously ill, and Yana has not been able to come to NLI since half of February, taking care of her mother in hospital. Please keep in touch.

Yours sincerely,

Naira.


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