The Armenian Missionary Association of America (AMAA) is sheltering displaced families from Artsakh in Armenia with the symbolic support of the Hungarian Government. The Hungarian Reformed Church Aid (HRCA) also cooperates, implementing a humanitarian program in Armenia supported by the Hungary Helps Agency. The program provides housing, hygiene items and food supplies for evacuee families, especially children, answering critical needs in twelve districts of the church.
The people of Artsakh has been sheltered in various facilities of AMAA, many of them without any news from their families, sons and husbands who defended the homeland during the armed conflict. In regions, specifically those close to the border, churches and church institutions have been opened for housing and hosting displaced people and shaltering evacuees who were forved to leave their homes due to the agression. The Evangelical Church in Armenia, member of the Union of the Armenian Evangelical Churches in the Near East (UAECNE), an official partner church of RCH based in Lebanon, opened temporary orphanages for children as well. AMAA is also taking part in this humanitarian outreach and they launched a $1 million humanitarian aid program in the region. There are 22 congregations, 6 diaconal centres, 4 after schools and family day-cares participating in the project.
The Hungary Helps Agency is a government agency that functions as a non-profit organization. It provides rapid and practical assistance to victims of humanitarian crises and to persecuted communities. The Agency’s mission is to ensure rapid and practical assistance to the most vulnerable, including victims of humanitarian crises and those who were displaced and are not able return to their homeland. Humanitarian actions financed by the Agency are mutually beneficial for all the members of the local community regardless of race, ethnicity, color, sex, language, religion or belief, political or other opinions, national or social origin, property, birth or another status in line with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Agency’s prioritizes actions that foster intercultural and interreligious dialogue, local resilience building and strengthen stability and peace by avoiding partiality and respecting the “do no harm” principle.
The number of sheltered families in various facilities has reached 221. They are receiving food, medicines, clothing, psychological support. Children can participate in educational programs and arts & crafts activities. The AMAA purchased an entire container of diapers and infant formula which helps 156 mothers and young mothers who are not able to breastfeed. The association also gave cash assistance to sixteen families to buy basic supplies. As the colder weather approaches, they also provided warm clothing and shoes to 280 families. The displaced people from Artsakh are also treated to field trips and are kept busy by working and learning activities, for example attending in Sunday Schools or preparing gauzes for hospitals.
Those who are not able to go down to a shelter, like elderly or bedridden people, who doesn't have any children or relatives, are visited by neighbours once a week, or a volunteer does the shopping, bringing them the supplies to their door.
The Armenian Missionary Association of America is a non-profit organization whose mission is to serve the physical and spiritual needs of their people both at home and overseas. To fulfil this worldwide mission, they maintain a range of educational, evangelistic, relief, social service, church and child care ministries in 24 countries around the world. Their mission and service ministry is made possible through the Grace of God and by the gifts of individuals and churches who are committed to fulfilling the Great Commission.
As we reported earlier, the Hungarian government opened a symbolic emergency fund of altogether 65 000 USD for the rehabilitation and humanitarian support of civilians in Armenia displaced from the Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) region due to the armed conflict. Half of the financial support has reached the Armenian evangelical community via the Hungarian Reformed Church Aid, which has been working close together with its local partner, the Armenian branch of AMAA.
The support has been received by the Armenian Christians as a strong sign of solidarity in times of a "national turmoil", and they continue counting on the moral support of churches, counrties and the international community as they face "the bitter post war reality on the ground in Armenia and Artsakh", where "destruction of civilian towns and villages of the peaceful indigenous population in Artsakh, the blazing fires of historic forests, shelling of churches, hospitals and schools; use of internationally prohibited weaponry" were part of the "seven week long brutal assault", stresses the recent joint statement of AMAA and the Armenian Evangelical World Council.
RCH has a recent but very active and fruitful cooperation and enjóys the blessing of an enriching fellowship with Armenian Evangelical communities in the Middle-East and beyond. The community of RCH recently joined the World Council of Churches' urgent call for "lasting peace founded on justice and human rights for the people of Nagorno-Karabakh.