Armenian country director to speak at Clyde Central

Apr 21, 2014
Photo by: Donated AGAPE — The country director from Armenia, Nara Melkonyan, will speak May 1 at First United Methodist Church of Clyde.

A rare opportunity to hear the country director from Armenia explain what a real difference North Carolinians are making in that country will take place at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, May 1, at Clyde Central United Methodist Church.  Anyone interested in learning more about this effort in the Caucausus is invited to see and hear Nara Melkkonyan’s slide presentation about the AGAPE program, followed by questions and refreshments.

AGAPE is a ministry begun 20 years ago by the North Carolina and Western North Carolina Conferences of the United Methodist Church to an area in Armenia, a country in the Caucausus Mountains that is about the size of the state of Maryland. Its people and terrain have some similarities to people in the WNC Mountains where the work has been in a rural area of border villages in the province of Kashatagh.

“This country and its neighbor, the Republic of Georgia, have been Christian nations since the 300s,” said Jackie Bolden, who has been involved in the AGAPE effort for a number of years.  “Because of this, they have endured much persecution from their neighbors and as part of the former Soviet Union.  Known for their toughness and hospitality, the people of the Caucasus have and continue to struggle to survive.”

The program is free of charge, but attendees may bring any number of items to help.  Money is needed for medical supplies for an AGAPE-sponsored hospital as well as a new clinic.  People — especially children and the elderly — are suffering from things that could be easily mitigated if medicines were available. Everything from vitamins and aspirins to medical gloves and first aid supplies for blood pressure and antibiotics and much more are needed

Gently used clothing for all ages and all sizes is also needed, as well as hygiene items, and sewing supplies of all types from fabric to zippers to needles, buttons, thread, patterns and etc.

“Project AGAPE is making a difference in the lives of thousands of people in Armenia and Karabagh,” said a board member in the local Methodist Conference.  “The NC and WNC UMC is the only organized group in the Karabagh region and you continue to support our brothers and sisters helping to meet the needs of food, medical care, clothing and Christian education,”

The economy continues to struggle and at times has had 60 percent unemployment where people just try to exist day to day.

The May 1 program at Clyde Central’s Fellowship Hall is sponsored by the mission network of Clyde Central, Crabtree, Long’s Chapel, Louisa Chapel, the District Parrish of Beaverdam, Faith, Elizabeth Chapel Francis Cove, Maple Grove United Methodists churches.

For supplies and clothing, the drop off is at Clyde Central anytime between now and May 2, but everyone is encouraged to attend the AGAPE program and take their items to be blessed.

The church office is open from 8:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. Call 627-2287, or call Jackie Bolden at 593-7910 or email for information.