Youth for Christ regional staff and leadership John Duncan, Malcolm Johnston, Peter Hewitt, Tom Shortland and others prayed for many years to start Youth for Christ in Armenia. After meetings with Armenians Frank Garabedian and Rene Leonyan, senior pastor of the Evangelical Church of Armenia, Malcolm Johnston went to Armenia to present Youth for Christ to the Church, followed by a team including the National Director of France, Jean-Jacques Weiler, and the process of starting Youth for Christ Armenia began. Arev Sarukhanyan was chosen in 2009 to coordinate the new Youth for Christ Armenia.
The main ministry is day centers. These centers for children provide much-needed rest, nutrition, recreation, social and Christian/moral education for them. They serve as a productive starting point that can lead to daily work, summer camps, sports, clubs, discipleship, and parenting services. Today Youth for Christ Armenia has more than 400 children in more than 20 day care centers.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, day care centers were online for several months. More than 150 of our volunteers prepared food packages for 380 families during the quarantine. Today all centers continue to work with the children. We also have a “Praying Parent” ministry, which aims to raise parents who will pray for their children every day and a “Super Woman” teen girls club ministry for vulnerable girls.
The war with Azerbaijan has had severe consequences for Armenia, but we continue to reach youth for Jesus Christ. Our vision is to equip our volunteers with knowledge and skills, to open 12 new day care centers for 300 war-affected children, to implement 12 day camp and sports programs, and open 12 new teen girls’ clubs for 140 teenagers, in partnership with local churches.