Thirty-seven-year-old Mariam Tamaryan from Lori Berd is trying desperately to overcome the hardships in her life.
This single mother has five children, Vardges, 19, who joined the army in Artsakh; Vahe, 16; Mary, 10; Angelina, 4; and Aren, 2. One year ago, Mariam and her children escaped from her abusive husband in Russia. He would beat her and the children, and on occasions even throw them out of the house on cold nights.
She fled to the Women's Resource Center in Yerevan where she had help for a few months before the government placed her and the children in a previously abandoned house in Lori Berd. Since the only way to earn a living in Lori Berd is by potato harvesting, Mariam and Vahe took on short-term contract work doing manual labor in the fields for a regional company. They worked 12-hour shifts while Mary stayed home and babysat Angelina and Aren.
When the season was finished, Mariam was left without a job and the huge debt she had incurred from borrowing food from local grovery stories. This took most of her earnings. Food is now scarce in their household and Mariam can barely feed her family. Without decent clothes to wear, her children are too ashamed to go to school.
"Alone, I am powerless," said Mariam as she broke down in tears. Without help, it won't get any easier for Mariam and her children. Ayo! can collect food and clothes locally for the family so they can get through the winter, but that's just a short-term fix.
The Revive the Soil project could help Mariam for the long-term. Having access to agricultural equipment empowers her and gives her freedom to cultivate her own plot of land, and to sell and use what she produces.
There are 1,490 families in Lori Berd and its surrounding communities who live in similar situations, who have similar stories of struggle. This project would give them a source of collective support.
In the latest episode of the video series Choices, Fr. Tateos Abdalian reflects on the upcoming season that begins with Thanksgiving and culminates in Christmas.
How can we truly exemplify the spirit of gratitude the season demands? And how can we carry that spirit beyond this special time of year, to enliven our everyday experience? Find out by watching "Treasure in Heaven."
Choices Video: Vine & Branch
Choices: Vine and Branch
Choices: Lend An Ear
Fr. Tateos Abdalian offers some Christmas reflections in this episode of Choices. When the season approaches, children instinctively know how to express their hopes and wishes. But adults, too, need to express themselves during Christmas, through the special language of prayer. Learn more by watching "Lend an Ear."
New Choices Video
In the latest episode of Choices, Fr. Tateos Abdalian considers the issue of poverty, and its meaning in the Gospel. Christ's preaching made people re-evaluate the "spiritual" significance of impoverishment. Surrounded by a world of material poverty, Christ drew attention to man's poverty of soul, as well.
It's a lesson that still resonates with people today. Are you rich or poor? Consider that question as you watch "Poor in Spirit."
Voices: St. Gregory of Narek
Gregory of Narek is considered the greatest poet of the Armenian nation and its first and greatest mystic. His writing style and command of the Armenian language are unparalleled, and his saintly person has been an inspiration to the Armenian faithful for centuries.
Armenians have a special way of greeting each other on Christmas. Learn what to say, and what it means, on this episode of "Hye Manners", the Eastern Diocese's micro-video series on habits and customs of the Armenian Church.
September 4, 2018
City of Southfield recognizes SJAC with it's Community Pride Award
The complete Funeral Badarak for Rev. Fr. Diran Papazian, which took place on Wednesday, December 5th, can be viewed on St. John Armenian Church's Facebook page. Many thanks to Lisa Mardigian for recording the service.
We are looking for a host family for a Priest participating in an inculturation program at St. Nersess Seminary. This would be for the week of February 17th through February 24th. He is a celebrant priest from the brotherhood of the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem. Please contact Fr. Aren at the church office.
Interested in learning how to make Mahs? We are looking for a Mahs Committee Chair. If interested, join us on Wednesday, January 23rd to learn how Mahs is made, from start to finish. Make the dough at 6pm and roll at 7pm. We hope to see you there!
The 2019 Nominating Committee of St. John Armenian Church is looking for candidates for Parish Council, Diocesan Delegates, Nominating Committee, and Auditing Committee to serve our parish. Please contact Laura Negosian Lucassian at 248-376-3794 or email@example.com if you or someone you know is interested.
This year's Parish Assembly will take place on Sunday, February 24th and meet the candidates on Sunday, February 17th.