Through Valleys and Mountains

Many people were interested to hear about my journey to Canada. Below is a short autobiographical sketch, which I recently shared in the pastoral charge’s newsetter for the glory of God.

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I was born in Beirut, Lebanon, the sixth and youngest child of the family. As a youngster, I was very active in different aspects of the church. At the age of eleven, I developed a desire to do “Good News Club” at our one bedroom apartment. One day, summer of 1978, while my mother was taking an afternoon nap, I went out on the balcony and told all the kids on the street to come up to our place because I had a story to tell them about Jesus. Ten showed up. This continued on once a week until school started in October. In the summer of 1979, an Armenian missionary was in town from Argentina. His stories moved me so much that after hearing the stories and the miracles that God had done, I told my mom that I wanted to become a missionary. She mentioned this to the missionary. The missionary, invited me for an interview. I went a couple of days later. I can barely remember any details of the conversations, however, this missionary took my desire seriously and valued me. Because of the civil war, my parents wanted to send me to the U.S. to continue “living” under the supervision of my eldest sister, however, after being refused many times by the U.S. Embassy, this seemed hopeless. One day in summer of 1983 my mom insisted that I go to the U.S. Embassy right away to get a visa. Although dreading the idea, as I had been refused at least 7 times, I obeyed mom and went. The Spirit who pushed my mom to send me to the embassy that day was truthful. I attained a visa. The Beirut airport was closed and other ways to get out of Lebanon were dangerous. By prayer and courage, my mother decided to take me to Damascus to get me on a plane to L.A. She would go with me and after my departure she would return home. I arrived in California, in September of 1983. I attended and graduated Armenian Mesrobian High School in L.A.; afterwhich in August 22, 1986 I entered Canada under the special project for Lebanese citizens. I went through life wanting to explore and become accepted by others. I tried to attend University, but for the wrong reasons – to impress others. I ignored God’s love as I looked for approval from individuals. In August of 1994, I lost my mom, and this made me more angry and confused towards God. However, being present when my mother breathed her last breath was the only proof that God exists. In 1997, I quit school and said, “I will never go back”. In July 1998, I received a second chance to life. Prayers were answered and I was delivered from death into life once again. After a long “cleansing” process, I met my husband through the internet on December 28, 1998. We got married Sept. 3, 2000. We began to attend Northlea United in Laval where we had gotten married. In the Season of Lent 2002, I was asked to share my faith with the congregation while the minister would be away in May. I agreed. A week after the service that I did, by God’s grace, I received a phone call from the neighboring Anglican minister asking me to do two services, while he is away. Everyone around me started to encourage me to go into ministry and the battle in my heart became stronger by the hour. Regrettably, I wanted to excel in my personal business and chase titles and prestige. In 2004, God opened up the door of the Armenian Evangelical Church for me to volunteer and serve the Youth Group. Thus, with my husband’s support and encouragement, I went forward. As the days passed and the youth members asked questions, God’s convicting power started to soften my heart and awaken the desire to serve God full-time. Therefore, I started to break out of my comfort zone and began knocking on doors to see how and where to start this journey. The Armenian Church openly stated that they do not encourage women to become ministers. It will, therefore, be a waste of time to stay at their congregation. Not being deterred from my objective, I approached Northlea United and asked if they would support me on this journey. The response was, “Of Course, with open arms”. This is where my journey has brought me today. Masters of Divinity, Year III, at United Theological College in Montreal. Of course, hardships and fears are always there; however, the gracious God who has brought me thus far, has promised to journey with me all the way. Looking back, it seems unbelievable; the bombs that did not explode when they fell right next to me, the trip from Lebanon to Syria that was certainly a journey through the valley of death, the experience of hardships through the “desert” to the Promised Land (Canada). The miracle of rebirth in 1998 and finding of a great partner such as Gary, my Spirit echoes, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9; NIV) – Thanks be to God.

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