Artsakh in Our Hearts

Yesterday, Sunday 27 September 2020 afternoon Sydney time, we were devastated to receive the disturbing news from our beloved Artsakh. Since seven in the morning, Artsakh time, Azeris with their allies and hired mercenaries launched an aggressive military attack and declared war against Artsakh, creating panic and fear in the Armenian civilian population. There were several air strikes on the border and also in the capital Stepanakert.

This attack, which was not unexpected, resulted in many casualties, including Armenian soldiers and innocent civilians young and old. As a result, the Artsakh president, Mr. Arayik Harutyunyan, announced martial law and gave his orders to fully mobilise the army and in a speech given soon after the Azeri military launch, called all men, age 18 and up, to be recruited in preparation, if this turns to a full scale war. In his evening media press conference, the President made clear that Artsakh is not in war against Azerbaijan only, but also with their ally and partner Turkey.

The Armenian Missionary Association of Australia joins the Australian Armenian organisations with the Armenian National Committee of Australia and the entire Armenian nation and the civilized world and in the strongest terms, condemns this aggression. Also, calls the Australian Government, Federal and State, to condemn this violent attack, which resulted and will still result in the loss of civilians. We are sure that the Friends of Artsakh, which include Australian politicians, religious and community leaders, as well as many public figures, will join in condemning this aggression.

The Armenian Missionary Association of America Executive Director, Mr. Zaven Khanjian, has already announced that the Armenian Missionary Association, places its facilities in the Artsakh Republic under the disposal of the civilian authorities to shelter women, children and the elderly to keep them safe during the violent attacks.

The Armenian Missionary Association of Australia calls on all peace-loving people and nations to join in prayer, seeking God’s protection for the people. Please join us in prayer for the people of Artsakh and all those brave young men, who are defending their land, the land of their ancestors.

To you, our dear friend and President, Mr. Arayik Harutyunyan, we say: “Be strong, and courageous, because we are sure that you will lead the people of Artsakh and the brave men, to protect the land that God has given to our forefathers. Be strong and courageous, because we all are with you in these very difficult and critical times. God is with you and we all are in this with you, even if we are miles away from our beloved motherland Artsakh and Armenia”.

Artsakh is our stronghold. Artsakh is and always will be in our hearts with its beauty and inspiration.

In prayer and reassurance.

Rev. Dr. Krikor Youmshajekian
President and CEO
Armenian Missionary Association of Australia

Prayer for Lebanon

One Month After the Explosion of August 4, 2020

On Tuesday, August 4, 2020 at 6:10 pm a powerful explosion in the port area of Beirut shook the beautiful city. This unprecedented explosion left behind hundreds of dead, thousands injured and over 300,000 people homeless in just a matter of seconds. Many lost loved ones, family members, friends and colleagues. The blast was so powerful that it was felt miles away, leaving behind destruction, devastation and debris.

Lebanon has suffered multiple waves of conflict and disaster in the past. 15 years of civil war and 30 years of political, social and economic turmoil has been compounded by the strain on resources caused by the Syrian war and an influx of refugees. Tuesday’s explosion came at a time when the country is already gripped by an economic crisis and reeling from the impacts of COVID-19. This massive explosion not only shattered buildings, property and hundreds of lives, but took away the hopes of the people, who were struggling to survive and looking for answers for the prevailing crisis. For some, this massive explosion was the final blow.

Today, after a month has passed, the international community responded with generosity and compassion, as many countries, nations, governments, organisations and individuals around the world are offering their help and support. Countless calls for aid and assistance have been given to help the people of Lebanon. Needless to say, that already some aid has arrived, but the pain of the suffering people is still there, who need our care, love and compassion. Our obligation and task is to unite with people around the world, to hold in our hearts and in our prayers the people of Beirut, Lebanon.

Let us pray to the God of compassion who is the strength of those who suffer and comforts those who grieve for the people of Lebanon.

Let us embrace those who have lost loved ones and are grieving in pain and agony.

Let us pray to God to fill us with compassion, so that we reach out with love to those who are broken hearted and anxious.  

Let us pray to the God of love and refuge as we hold the people of Beirut in our hearts:

Loving and gracious God, we pray that Your Spirit of healing and protection be with the suffering people of Beirut and Lebanon at this time as we remember the catastrophe after a month.

May the good news of peace, healing and loving care be with all, especially with those who are suffering as a result of the disaster.

In Your mercy, we pray, bring comfort to those who are still in pain and are in tremendous trauma.

We pray for those who are healing and for those who are homeless and are looking for shelter.

We pray for those who are hungry and looking for sustenance to survive.

We pray for those who are working hard to find the means to rebuild their shattered lives as well as the destroyed buildings.

We pray for the thousands of the volunteers, who offered their services to anyone in need in the days immediately after.

We pray for those who organised and followed up with the cleaning and were there for those who needed their personal touch.

We pray for the medical staff, who did their best to care for the injured.

We pray for all the churches, organisations and institutions, who mobilised to extend a helping hand to reach out in love and care.

We pray for the worldwide efforts for lifting up the spirit of the people of Lebanon.

We pray Lord, please give hope to the hopeless, shelter to those who are homeless, give food and nutrition to those who lack it, give patience to those who have lost everything.

Loving and generous God, You promise that You will never forsake Your people. Be with all who feel shrouded in darkness, fear and anxiety: all who are anxious about what the future holds, whose pain brings them close to despair. May Your light shine in the dark places.

Generous God, You bring hope and new life. Be with the people of Lebanon. May Your hope fill their hearts and give them rest.

Our loving, merciful and compassionate God, we pray all these in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who is our only hope and refuge.

To whom is the glory now and forever. Amen!

Rev. Dr. Krikor Youmshajekian

President and CEO, Armenian Missionary Association of Australia
Minister, St. Andrew’s Uniting Church Longueville
Treasurer, Middle East National Conference UCA


You can choose one of or several options to send your donation

Mail check to: AMA-Australia 12A Castle Crescent Belrose NSW 2085 memo: Lebanon Urgent Relief
Make an online donation with a note “Lebanon Emergency Appeal
Direct deposit: AMA-Australia bank account with your name as reference
Bank: Commonwealth Bank Account Name, Armenian Missionary Association of Australia
BSB Number: 062272 – Acc. Number: 1009 3977

The Armenian Missionary Association of Australia Fundraising Surpasses $2,000,000


The Armenian Missionary Association of Australia, run by all volunteers, has reached an important milestone through its fundraising efforts. Since its inception, the AMA-Australia, have raised over $2,000,000. Securing two Endowment Funds for education, the Anthony Rozanski ($500,000) and the Barkev Ishkhanian Fund ($50,000). The income from the funds is used to support students in Lebanon.

With the efforts of the founding board members and consequently with the members who have served over three year terms, with the leadership of its President and CEO, the annual turnover in 2001 financial year of $12,000, by God’s grace surpassed $2,000,000 in June 2020.

The Armenian Missionary Association of Australia (AMA-Australia) a registered Incorporation in Australia and acting as a charity, pursues the same aims as the Armenian Missionary Association of America (AMA America), which is to extend a helping hand to our Armenian brothers and sisters in Armenia, Artsakh and the Middle East, struggling and facing a hard time to make ends meet.

In 2021 we will celebrate the 20th Anniversary of AMA-Australia.

Since the launch in 2001 the AMA-Australia has embarked on journey of mission and adopted many projects and organised fundraisers to support the needy. The programs have included social and cultural initiatives. The main projects of the Association since its formation are the Child Scholarship Program to needy children in Armenia, Education Sponsorship Program for needy students in Lebanon and Syria, Relief aid to Armenia and in the last few years especially for Syria. We also have a sponsorship program for children in Armenia and students in Lebanon and distribution of Christian literature, such as 400 copies of Our Daily bread and the AMAA Newsletter, in Australia and New Zealand.

AMA-Australia does not have paid staff, buildings, offices or even a business phone. All the work is done via emails and correspondence. The AMA-Australia Website and Facebook are active. You can follow our programs, activities and news by visiting our website and following us on Facebook.

We need your help!

Our aim is to let as many people know the works of this organisation, and help fundraising efforts to fuel projects in 2020 & 2021, ESPECIALLY in these tough times for our Armenian brothers and sisters in Armenia, Artsakh and the Middle East.

Without your donations and support we would not have been able to raise the much-needed funds to pursue our goals for the glory of God.

Please continue to support us, if you have already done so, or join your hands and help us to do better in the coming years.

Armenian Missionary Association Of Australia and Armenian Missionary Association Of America Jointly Support the Higher Education of Father Ardag of The Holy Sea Of Cilicia

Upon the request of His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Holy Sea of Cilicia, the Armenian Missionary Association of Australia (AMA-Australia) has committed to provide the means and to fully sponsor a young cleric, Father Ardag (George Arabian) for his advanced theological training at Charles Sturt University’s School of Theology, the United Theological College in Sydney. Fr. Ardag commenced his training in March 2019 and will graduate by the end of 2020 with a Master of Theology after writing his dissertation.

Education in general has illuminated the minds and souls of all the children of our nation without denominational, social or political discrimination. Being aware of the vital importance of education, it is the legacy of the Armenian Evangelical Church and the Church’s missionary arm, the Armenian Missionary Association of America (AMA-America), which well identifies Armenian Evangelicals throughout their 173-year history, that seminary education is essential for those, who have the calling to serve God in particular. Moreover, beyond the dissemination of the Word of God, education brands the Armenian Missionary Association of America’s global service.

We are grateful that the AMA-America has joined our efforts of sponsoring Father Ardag’s education by providing the whole tuition, which is 1/3 of the total cost of this project. AMA-Australia, with the support of the Australian Armenian Community, will cover the remaining 2/3, which includes all other expenses such as fees, accommodations, cost of living, books, travel and medical costs.

Our prayers are with Father Ardag in his studies and training to serve God wherever He leads him.

The Armenian Missionary Association of Australia Donates $10,000 to NSW Rural Fire Services

Earlier this year, the Australian bushfires destroyed over 20-million-acres mark causing major destruction in the beautiful states of New South Wales and Victoria. Yet, the impact of this disaster have not remained confined to just those two states, as smoke and poor air quality spread throughout Australia and affected residents as far as 1,200 miles away. Due to the bushfires, 25 lives were lost, including those of the NSW RFS volunteers and three US aerial firefighters. Thousands of homes completely perished, many towns destroyed and tens of thousands of families stranded. Sadly, millions of natural habitat, including Australia’s iconic Kangaroos, Koalas, Emus and so many different species, as well as natural Australian plantations scraped from the landscape.

The Armenian Missionary Association of Australia (AMA-Australia) with all the churches in Australia and the world prayed for the prevailing sad situation, and along with other charities and local and federal governments pledged to raise funds to support the suffering people.

We are glad to announce that our sister organization, the Armenian Missionary Association of America (AMAA) joined us in our fundraising efforts and together on behalf of AMA-America and AMA-Australia we donated an amount of $10,000 AUS to support the NSW Rural Fire Service in their efforts and especially the volunteers. We thank the AMA-America and all our AMA-Australia donors, who helped us to raise sufficient funds to bring our share to this worthy cause.

Our thoughts will forever be with the families and loved ones of all who lost their lives. We specially pay tribute to the families of the firefighters, along with the US aerial firefighters. We feel the loss deeply and we honour the sacrifice they made to selflessly to protect communities across NSW.

Congratulatory Letter to Arayik Harutyunyan, the newly elected President of Artsakh Republic

The President/CEO of the Armenian Missionary Association of Australia sent a Congratulatory letter to Arayik Harutyunyan, the newly elected President of Artsakh Republic.

Please read the Congratulatory letter as posted on website.

Աւստրալիայի Հայ Աւետարանչական Ընկերակցութեան Նախագահ/Գործադիր Տնօրէն Վեր. Դոկտ. Գրիգոր Եումշաճըքեանը շնորհաւորական ուղերձ հղեց Արցախի Հանրապետութեան Նորընտիր Նախագահ Արայիկ Հարությունյանին։ՇՆորհաւորական ուղերձը կրնաք կարդալ վարը նշուած կայքէջին վրայ։

L to R: Kaylar Michaelian, Permanent Representative of Arstakh Republic to Australia; Rev. Dr René Leonian, President of the Union of the Armenian Evangelical Churches of Eurasia; Rev. Haroutune Selimian, President of the Armenian Protestant Community of Syria; Pres. Arayik Harutyunyan, President of the Republic of Artsakh; Rev. Berdj Djambazian, President of the Armenian Evangelical World Council; Rev. Dr. Krikor Youmshajekian, President of the Armenian Missionary Association of Australia; Rev. Aram Babajanyan, Armenia

AMA-Australia’s Response to Bushfire Crisis

Lord, please provide strength and protection for those fighting to put out the fires and rescue lives.

As the Australian bushfires continue to blaze past the 20-million-acres mark, the AMAA, alongside the rest of the world, remains heartbroken by the destruction in the beautiful states of New South Wales and Victoria. Yet, the impact of this disaster have not remained confined to just those two states, as smoke and poor air quality have spread throughout Australia and affected residents as far as 1,200 miles away.

Rev. Dr. Krikor Youmshajekian, President of the Armenian Missionary Association of Australia reports: “After several weeks we have at least two dozen registered deaths, including volunteer firefighters, young and old and still there are many who are unaccounted. Thousands of homes have been completely perished, many towns have been completely destroyed, tens of thousands of families have been stranded, holiday plans not only cancelled, but turned into nightmare, with roadblocks and immediate danger to commuters. Sadly, millions of natural habitat, including Australia’s iconic Kangaroos, Koalas, Emus and so many different species, as well as natural Australian plantations have been scraped from the landscape.

I don’t have the words to present the full scale of the disaster. Gladly the major cities and people living there are safe. Fortunately the majority of the Armenian community lives in those safe places and we are spared from the catastrophic and horrific disaster. We, with all the churches in Australia and the world have been praying for the prevailing sad situation, which is the least we can do.”

While people are suffering and thousands and thousands of homes being perished, hundreds of people displaced and lacking the basic needs, it is our duty and responsibility with our prayers to contribute. Through our locally registered charity, the Armenian Missionary Association of Australia, we are doing our best to raise funds to support the suffering people along with other charities and the local and federal governments. Please consider lending your support today.

Send donation checks to:
Armenian Missionary Association of Australia
12A Castle Cres Belrose NSW 2085

Or click the button below to donate to Australia’s Natural Disaster Emergency Relief. All funds collected by Armenian Missionary Association of America, our sister organization will be forwarded to AMA-Australia who will ensure they are channeled to local government and charities who are in-need.

Armenian Missionary Association of Australia Raises $35,000 For “Shogh” Day Centers in Armenia and Artsakh

Rev. Dr. Krikor Youmshajekian, AMA-Australia President

The Armenian Missionary Association of Australia (AMA-Australia) set a goal in 2019 to raise funds to support AMAA’s “Shogh” Educational Day Centers in Armenia and Artsakh, which provide provisional services for underprivileged children. The Centers, located in Gyumri, Vanadzor and Yerevan in Armenia and Askeran and Shushi in Artsakh, support children 6-12 years old who are living in socially underserved families, providing them a safe environment during parents’ working hours. The main objectives of the Centers are to help these children overcome educational difficulties, grow personally, and become part of an educated and healthy society. AMAA Representative in Armenia Harout Nercessian was invited to Australia to share this important work done with the children in these Centers and in their communities.

On Sunday March 24, Mr. Nercessian spoke at St. Andrew’s Uniting Church of Longueville to a combined Worship Service with Lane Cove Uniting Church, where he delivered the message and made a presentation about the Association’s work in Armenia and Artsakh. A Lawn Bowls Fundraising event followed the Worship Service at the Longueville Sports Club. This unique event was the first in a series of events organized for this year’s AMA-Australia Week, which was well attended by young people and enjoyed by all.

Zela Margossian Quintet (ARIA Nominated)

Later that afternoon, a cultural event was held at Longueville St. Andrew’s Uniting Church, featuring the Zela Margossian Quintet. Their amazing ethno-jazz performance with a taste of Armenian traditional music was greatly appreciated by all. The group donated all proceeds from the Concert to the “Shogh” Educational Day Centers. The opening of a Photography Exhibition followed the Concert in the Church’s War Memorial Hall, where Raffi Elejian, a new arrival from Aleppo, Syria, exhibited his photos. The Exhibition was opened by the Past President of Uniting Church of Australia (UCA), Stuart McMillan and was open throughout the following week.

On Tuesday, March 26, Manvel Saribekyan’s documentary movie Map of Salvation, about five young European Missionaries who were witnesses to the Armenian Genocide and subsequently founded shelters for Armenian children and women, was screened at St. Andrew’s Uniting Church War Memorial Hall.

Opera Singer, Natalie Aroyan (Sydney Opera House)

On Sunday, March 31, the AMA-Australia Sunday Worship and Praise Service was held at the Armenian Evangelical Church of Sydney in Willoughby. Many dignitaries, UCA clergy, politicians and representatives of Armenian organizations were present. The Service was led by Rev. Hagop Sarkissian, Church Minister. AMA-Australia President and Executive Director Rev. Dr. Krikor Youmshajekian offered the prayer and brought greetings on behalf of the Association. Mr. Nercessian brought the message based on Luke 12:13-21 The Parable of the Rich Fool. He also gave a report on the inspiring work that is done for our children in the “Shogh” Centers and the amazingly transforming impact that has been achieved in their lives and in their families, all for the glory of God. During the Service, talented and famous opera singer, Natalie Aroyan performed an aria by Pucini, accompanied by talented pianist Alex Sahagian. At the conclusion of the Service, UCA President Dr. Dierdre Palmer offered prayer, led the Lord’s Prayer Hyre Mer and gave the Benediction.

Harout Nercessian, AMAA Representative in Armenia

Following the Service, the AMA-Australia Annual Luncheon was held at St. Andrew’s Uniting Church War Memorial Hall. The Luncheon was well attended and included politicians and UCA leaders. All enjoyed the delicious food and the wonderful entertainment provided by the Lane Cove Delta Jazz Band, led by David Cant, a member of St. Andrew’s Uniting Church. Rev. Dr. Youmshajekian presented a brief audio-visual report about last year’s AMAA Centenary Fundraising for the Artsakh Kindergartens and the completion of the renovations. He made an appeal to continue their support to the AMAA’s projects, especially this year’s fundraising for the “Shogh” Day Centers, including the Sponsorship programs. Mr. Nercessian outlined the work done with disadvantaged children in these Centers. Some beautiful handicrafts, made by the children of “Shogh” Centers, and the bilingual New Testaments were available for purchase. With the generous donations of our supporters throughout the week-long activities, $35,000 Australian dollars net was raised for the “Shogh” Educational Day Centers in Armenia and Artsakh.

During his stay in Australia, Mr. Nercessian also spoke at the Armenian Evangelical Church Ladies Group Worship Service and visited the Armenian Day Schools of AGBU Alexander School and Hamazkaine Galstaun College.

Officially established in 1991 as an independent charitable organization and registered Incorporation in Australia, AMA-Australia is a sister Association of the Armenian Missionary Association of America (AMAA). AMAA-Australia is the brainchild of the former AMAA Executive Director, the late Rev. Dr. Movses Janbazian, who unfortunately didn’t see its fruition. It pursues the same aims as the AMAA, serving the religious, educational and social needs of Armenian communities in the Homeland and Diaspora.

AMA-Australia Commemorates the 10th Anniversary of the Assassination of Hrant Dink

Rev. Youmshajekian, Mrs. Dink & Mr. Soghomonian

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the assassination of journalist and human rights activist Hrant Dink. In honour of the memory of our national hero, the Armenian Missionary Association of Australia (AMA-Australia) invited his widow Mrs. Rakel Dink to Australia to commemorate with them his life and work, and to also highlight the work of the Hrant Dink Foundation, which carries on his legacy.

On Saturday March 11th, Mrs. Dink was welcomed to Sydney by the AMA-Australia Board of Directors at an informal gathering at the home of Rev. Dr. and Mrs. Krikor Youmshajekian.

On Sunday March 12th, Mrs. Dink attended the AMAA Sunday Service held at the Armenian Evangelical Church of Sydney. During the service, she witnessed her faith in Christ, even during the very difficult times following her husband’s death. All were encouraged by her dependence on God, and her trust in His purpose even when we cannot understand why. Rev. Dr Youmshajekian, President/Executive Director of AMA-Australia preached from God’s word.

Following the AMAA Sunday service, the Annual AMAA Luncheon was held at Miramare Gardens. The guest of honour Mrs. Dink encouraged all in attendance with her heartfelt remarks. The guests were entertained with two poetry recitals from Barouyr Sevag performed by George Shissoyan and a violin solo ‘Dele Yaman’ performed by Garen Boymoushakian. A brief presentation was given highlighting the work of AMAA in general as well as the projects completed by the AMA-Australia between April 2016 and March 2017. The surprise of the day was an arranged ‘Graduation Ceremony’ and presentation of a certificate to Mrs. Makrouhie Kortian. Mrs. Kortian an active member in the Australian Armenian Community over many years was awarded with a Certificate from Haigazian University for training she has completed. It is never too late for dreams to come true. The event was enjoyed by all who attended.

While in Sydney, Mrs. Dink also visited both Armenian schools – AGBU Alexander School and Hamazkaine Galstaun College. She also visited the AGBU & Tarkmanchats Armenian Saturday schools to encourage and inspire the Armenian youth.

On Sunday 19th March, the Hrant Dink Commemoration Evening was held at the Chatswood Concourse Theatre. The event was organised jointly with the Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANCA). The memory of Hrant Dink was honoured through music, poetry and dance. Mrs. Dink delivered the keynote address emphasising that we should continue to struggle for truth and freedom of speech while acknowledging that nothing is possible without dependence on the Lord who is our Shepherd and our Refuge. The Uniting Church in Australia Assembly General Secretary Colleen Geyer delivered the closing remarks and Rev. Dr. Youmshajekian closed the evening with a prayer and invited the guests to join him in singing the Lord’s Prayer.

The following day, Mrs. Dink visited the Armenian community in Melbourne where the life and work of Hrant Dink was again commemorated at a gathering which was well attended and organised by the Sahagian Club. She also detailed the continuing work of the Hrant Dink Foundation which was established in 2007 to carry on Hrant’s dreams, his struggle, his language and his heart.

On Thursday 23rd March, a farewell dinner was held for Mrs. Dink at the Kirribilli Club which was attended by the AMA-Australia Board and members of ANCA.

AMA-Australia praises the Lord for His many blessings, and thank Mrs Rakel Dink for accepting their invitation to join them in commemorating the life of her late husband Hrant Dink. Special thanks also to ANCA for their support and help in organising the Hrant Dink Commemoration Evening.

Աւստրալիայի Հայ Աւետարանչական Ընկերակցութիւն