Armenia Update … November ’20 (Spitak and Jrashen area)

Limited editing from our GHNI staff in Armenia in their November ’20 report …

November 2020

Current situation in Armenia

ceasefire agreement was signed between the President of Azerbaijan, the Prime Minister of Armenia, and the President of Russia, ending all hostilities in the area in November 10, 2020. After the agreement, thousands of people became internally displaced. They lost their home villages and towns. Thousands of soldiers were killed. Thousands of men became disabled; many captives in the other side and many missing soldiers and civilians. The war has left painful scars on each Armenian.

We live on the main street in Vanadzor city and usually its very noisy during the day. When the war was over there was silence on that street, you could only hear the noise of the cars. As if, the whole nation was silently grieving.

Now there are Russian peacekeepers in the war zone and people who still have homes return to Artsakh.  From 150 000 only 25 000 went back.

In November we as a GHNI team visited more than 20 families from Artsakh. All of them lost their houses and couldn’t return, so they decided to spend the winter in our region and see what happens next. We heard many sad stories but also stories of hope. We gave them New Testaments and shared about God’s love.

Miracle stories

The war broke out early in the morning, the children were still asleep. The mother took the children just with one pair of clothes and ran from the village to the nearby city where it was safer. However, the father of the family stayed to see how he could protect the house. One day the father of the family was in the basement and he heard enemy soldiers entering his house. At that time he had nothing to protect himself and everywhere the enemy soldiers entered they killed the owners without any exception. Miraculously they did not notice him and after a while left the house. The men left the house secretly, hid himself in the nearby forests, and finally was able to go to his family. The whole family praises God that their father is alive.

The bread baking machines







Thanks to GHNI team and supporters throughout the world we were able to buy 10 bread-baking machines and 10 bags of flour. Several displaced families were able to share the machines and bake their own bread. Each of the families were average of seven people and it was not affordable for them to buy bread every day. With the help of the project, more than 100 people have their homemade bread now.

The local Police department heard about the project, joined our team, and helped in delivering the flour bags and machines.

Warm clothes and coats

Winters in Armenia are severe cold and especially in the North where we live. So with the help of GHNI and some local and foreign friends we were able to collect about 150 coats and bought warm winter clothes and gave to the displaced children.







Sewing and art project

At the moment we have 4 sewing machines for the community centre and the women are working hard to provide beddings and some clothes for war victims. At the same time they learn new skills. One of the ladies from the sewing class got a job in the sewing fabric this month.






Thanks for your support of GHNI and us in Armenia … Tamara

Grateful for you in all this … Daniel Emig – Armenia Country Supervisor – GHNI

donate to our personal work there at:

donate to program and project needs in Armenia at:


ARMENIA – I love being present in these updates!

ARMENIA – (Spitak) House of Esther Refugee Center

I love being present and on-the-ground in an update such as this!  These people are absolutely wonderful … these refugees who have been through so much pain, are life-giving yet again!

Great pleasure is mine in being here in Spitak, ARMENIA, House of Esther(HoE) … and in relating to you these refugees from war-torn Syria.  It’s difficult to communicate their gratefulness in our presence and our meager gifts of time, teaching and relationships deepened.  A warmer audience one will not find.

Each has a story of great loss of homes, family members, friends, neighbors.  



Since my time here last year, chicken coops have been expanded, a fish farm started, gardens enlarged, fruit trees planted, volunteers recruited, furniture and appliances delivered, buildings insulated, and many other living conditions improved.  Deeper yet is the foundation of “HOPE” they now have, in a secure location free from war-tensions and greater losses. 




A primary focus has been in the teaching of TCD-Transformational Community Development.  While I usually teach such courses in villager-settings, this material is adaptable to HoE and refugees starting lives over.  Our aim in HoE is for it to become as self-sustaining as is possible.   









































Local entrepreneur Gayane was very gracious in showing us her business as well as translating for us in the TCD sessions.  














Thanks for being such an integral part of such Help and Hope to others!  


GHNI Lead Assist – C./S. Asia and E. Europe


House of Esther – Spitak, Armenia … there … !

House of Esther – Spitak, Armenia

It’s truly a beauty to behold, when one sees one person, impassioned, committed to a task at hand, accomplish so much in 5 short weeks of their “vacation” time!  Please witness this man and his accomplishments … Vince Melkonian.

Vince & Marie(daughter)
Vince & Marie(daughter)

HoE – House of Esther, in Spitak, Armenia is a future home of transition, healing, and wholeness for refugees out of Syria and other needful locations.  Seeing that TCD-Transformational Community Development can happen in this setting, Vince is focused on allowing GHNI to serve alongside he and others, as they help some of the neediest people of Armenian decent, displaced in war-torn locations.

To accomplish this, much logistics have to happen in short order, especially as winter is fast approaching this higher elevation locale.

New Chicken Pen HoE
New Chicken Pen HoE
Pig Pen Being Built HoE
Pig Pen Being Built HoE


Green House In Progress HoE
Green House In Progress HoE

Pig pens were built.  Chicken coops were built. Manure, top-soil and fertilizer were brought in for establishing fields of farming.  Green-houses were established.  Crops planted in early Spring were harvested.  Dorms for refugees were configured.  Vision seminars for TCD were taught to those living there and locals.   Relationships between organizations were further secured, as UNHCR-Armenia, GHNI, ALEPPO org., and others came together to commit to this special place.


Further help is needed in finances, as we secure a manager for, and make all provisions needful for full-fledged self-sustainability or HoE.  Will you please consider these needs and all we all seek to accomplish here.   It’s a great semi-rural location for vetted refugees to re-establish life and become healthy again.   Donations can be made at:

Thank you … Daniel!

Soil Samples(results) HoE
Soil Samples(results) HoE
Soil Sample Team (Herach-Marie-Dan) HoE
Soil Sample Team (Herach-Marie-Dan) HoE
Drying Fruit HoE
Drying Fruit HoE


Spitak, Armenia – May ’16

Spitak, Armenia – May ’16

Abram-Gary-Dan-Haig A & H are 1st 2 residents of HoE -  Spitak, Armenia
A & H are 1st 2 residents of HoE –
Spitak, Armenia

Nothing compares to actually being on-location.  My(Daniel’s) time in Spitak & Yerevan, Armenia was incredibly rewarding, as I was able to be close to all the staff, volunteers, and the two men(Abraham & Haig) who are the initial refugees at the House of Esther(HoE).  These men will soon be joined by their families, as they set up all the needs of Transformational Community Development(TCD) as it relates to this unique setting of refugees from war-ravaged Syria.

Vince at the helm, leading so many of these initiatives allowing HoE to become a reality, he is juggling so many responsibilities and needs.  Please do let us/me know if you’d like to be a part of this endeavour.  Our hopes are to have at lease 3 families there by summers’ end.

Already, we have leadership that is allowing mentoring related to agriculture and specifically green-house gardening, so needful in this part of Armenia at an altitude of over 7K feet.

Sayran. ...The Litel Big Man (our GHNI Garden Greenhouse Specialist - Spitak, Armenia
Sayran. …The Litel Big Man (our GHNI Garden Greenhouse Specialist – Spitak, Armenia

Our meetings with ALEPPO Organisation and UNHCR for Armenia went well.  Our hope is to have them both engaged in HoE, as they are enabled to provide quality oversight.  More importantly, they are also able to help GHNI pre-select specific families most suited to this type of refugee setting, almost two hours from the capital of Yerevan.

Vince w/ landscape crew ... grating for the 2x barns/storage buildings - Spitak, Armenia
Vince w/ landscape crew … grating for the 2x barns/storage buildings – Spitak, Armenia
Vince w/ backhoe crew ... HoE - Spitak, Armenia
Vince w/ backhoe crew … HoE – Spitak, Armenia
Abraham & Haig working on HoE landscape/garden prep - Spitak, Armenia
Abraham & Haig working on HoE landscape/garden prep – Spitak, Armenia
In-your-road ... in-your-face typical herds of sheep, as we drive to Spitak, Armenia
In-your-road … in-your-face typical herds of sheep, as we drive to Spitak, Armenia
Vince with greenhouse mentor ... Sayran - Spitak, Armenia
Vince with greenhouse mentor … Sayran – Spitak, Armenia