March 13, 2020

An Adventist Pioneer in Armenia: Reaching the First Christian Nation

Vigen is a Global Mission pioneer serving in Armenia. Although, historically, Armenia was the first nation to adopt Christianity as its official religion, Adventists in the present have been praying for opportunities to share a unique message of hope with the people living in its capital city, Yerevan.

“Our main goal is to spread the three angels’ messages in this area,” Vigen says, “to serve people through health ministry.”

After working in one neighborhood for two and a half years, Vigen started a small group of believers. This group is excited to share the Adventist message, and they have found that health ministry is the best way to connect with the community.

Over the past year, they’ve run small health expos featuring lifestyle seminars such as the “Breathe Free” program for smokers. Healthful cooking classes are a favorite among people in the community. They love learning new recipes and tasting food in a social setting.

Some members started a colporteur ministry, knocking on doors and offering people an opportunity to buy Adventist literature. As their group became known in the neighborhood, they decided to hold a series of Bible meetings in their small rented space.

They mailed and shared dozens of invitations to these meetings. Then, a few days before the event, they were evicted from the building. Since it is very difficult and expensive to rent space in that part of Yerevan, the members did the only thing they could at that point: they prayed.

“After a few days of prayer, we found a building on the same street, only two doors down from our former building,” Vigen says. “It was an incredible miracle from God.”

Taking this as a sign from God, the group continued with the meetings as planned. Karine, a woman from the community who attended, said she had been willing to try anything to fill a feeling of emptiness she couldn’t explain. “I met Vigen about two years ago,” she says. “When I heard him speaking, it touched my heart. I began to understand the Bible, and that empty space inside me was filled.”

Karine was baptized and is now actively engaged as a member of the Adventist Church.

“I became like a new person,” she says. “I’m more faithful to God now. Wherever I go, I feel a peace and comfort that wasn’t there before.”

Mission work in cities such as Yerevan can be extremely difficult. Church planting can seem like an impossible task at times, but through prayer and God’s power, new groups of believers are being started. Global Mission pioneers such as Vigen have found that by using Christ’s method of ministry, they can break through barriers that they couldn’t otherwise.

“We want to show people that we love them, that we're interested in them, and are prepared to help them solve their everyday problems," Vigen says. “I think the gospel is the answer to many problems that people have.”

The original version of this story was posted by Adventist Mission.