231109 Sga 2023 Sga.org Stories 10 27 Social Post 1 Wordpress Preview 460x460 V1
Dec 01, 2023
Editor’s Note: The story and image below were provided by an SGA-supported pastor in Armenia.
Hope For A Better Future

Following Azerbaijan’s lightning offensive and occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh on September 19, 2023, separatist authorities announced that the ethnic Armenian enclave would dissolve on January 1, 2024. Faced with the prospect of rule by Azerbaijan, more than one hundred thousand people, 80 percent of Nagorno-Karabakh’s population, fled to Armenia in one week.

In the midst of this flight, an explosion occurred on the evening of September 25 near the main city of Khankendi, known as Stepanakert by Armenians. Over 220 were killed and another 50 are missing. Hospitals were struggling to treat the 290 people injured in the blast after an effective blockade since December 2022 left them with severe shortages of medical supplies. Some of the injured were evacuated by Armenian helicopters.

One of those airlifted to hospitals in Armenia was a young man named Hovo. He had severe burns on his hands and legs that took the skin and damaged tendons, ligaments and muscles. He has multiple surgeries ahead of him. 

Hovo is just 18 years old. He came to Christ at the age of 15. As he looks back on the night of the explosion he quietly says, “In the middle of the fire God saved me from the explosion. I saw His hand at work in the hospital.” Surrounded by the members of his SGA-supported church, all brothers and sisters who fled with their families to Armenia, he shared about his “Chatting with God, asking why? Why?” He shared he knows God’s Word is true. God’s character unchanging. But still, he had his doubts.

Then he heard God’s voice speaking to him. “God taught me that the life of a Christian isn’t easy.  He told me I should go through this.” Someone asked me, how will you use this experience?” I want to serve the Lord. I play duduk flute.” The duduk is a double reed instrument with ancient Armenian origins, having existed since at least the fifth century.

Hovo has a long path ahead of him. But he is quietly cheerful in the midst of non-stop pain and multiple trips to the doctors. He trusts God and has hope for a better future—a future spent with his family and the members of his church. Please join us in praying for this brother and the hundreds of others who were injured or lost family members. Pray especially for the SGA-supported churches transplanted from Nagorno Karabakh to new homes in Armenia. Pray that Christ would be lifted up.

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