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Listen while you read: "How Sweet The Name Of Jesus Sounds"1 (Lyrics)

Isaiah 42:6-7 – I am the Lord, I have called you in righteousness, I will also hold you by the hand and watch over you, and I will appoint you as a covenant to the people, as a light to the nations, to open blind eyes, to bring out prisoners from the dungeon, and those who dwell in darkness from the prison. (NASB)

There are over 135 memorials, spread across 25 countries, which commemorate the genocide of over one million Armenians in 1915 because of their refusal to deny Jesus Christ and worship Allah. On April 24th each year, thousands of people march to these monuments and lay flowers in remembrance.

One such Armenian who was the lone survivor of his family was Armen Arakelian, my father. There was a period of time in my father's life when he carried out a prison ministry. His first step was to enlist his whole family to help minister. Gradually, other members of the local church were added to his team. One Sunday afternoon, my father, along with an elderly woman and me, headed out in our family car to visit a detention camp for Los Angeles County non-violent inmates. After a brief time of group singing and a solo by me, my dad delivered a gospel message. Following the time of worship, as we mingled with the inmates, there were several who expressed that they were blessed. Praise Him!

My father's legacy of faith continues with his son, John Arakelian, my brother. Recently, he and his wife have been miraculously drawn to an involvement as volunteers with an international prison ministry called Kairos in the state of Texas, U.S.A. Kairos is a Greek word meaning "in God's special time" or "in the fullness of time", offering an opportunity for participants and guests to re-consider their life choices. The results of teaching their last three-day course in Christianity were gratifying. All 42 inmates enrolled completed the course and are now part of small accountability groups with whom they will meet each Saturday for worship and discussion of their Christian walk. Praise God!

What can we do to pass our legacy of faith to the next generation? God's Word has the answer:

Deuteronomy 11:18a,19 – So commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these words of mine. Teach them to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. (NLT)

Our children will have a tremendous advantage by teaching them God's Word at an early age and by making prayer a vital part of their lives. More importantly, biblical principles should be practiced at home as well as publicly in the church and community.

The challenge before us: In an increasingly advancing, technological, and troubled world, let us lead our children to become leaders who will present the truths of the gospel to win the world to Christ.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, we thank You for creating us new persons through our acceptance of Your salvation through Jesus Christ, our Lord. We implore You to give us the strength to share the gospel faithfully with those who do not know You. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Parise Arakelian

1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Wonderful story Parise and a good challenge.

    Thank You, for making us all want to keep the legacies of our loved alive. Please keep writing so that we will never forget.

    THANK YOU. The Lord is using your writing talents to bring awareness on how we should be modeling/teaching our faith/gospel to our childern and the lost in the world.

    Hello Parise, Thanks you for sharing such a wonderful meditation. I was interested in the history as well as the personal touch of your father and brother.
    It is encouraging to hear that the gospel continues to be heard through kairos etc. and that your family are light bearers.

    Dear Parise,
    I am always inspired by your family’s legacy of faith. After reading your father’s book, there’s no doubt it was a miracle he lived to tell his story and pass it down for generations to come. I’m sure if he were here today, he’d be very proud that his children are following his example in ministry. Thank you for writing this wonderful tribute to your dad and to the commemoration of the Armenian genocide.

    Dear Parise,
    Thank you for sharing family experiences along with truths of the gospel: and I pray that God will continue to bless you in living out the way of Jesus Christ as well as preaching it.
    Keep writing, and serving otherwise in many ways.
    I pray God will keep you ministering powerfully — and may he keep strengthening and directing those you minister to.

    Dear Parise
    What a beautiful message of heart-wrenching sorrow and strong faith. I sat this morning questioning God, asking why He seemingly disappears when the going gets really tough for some. Then I read this and was corrected. It is truly about not losing faith and all about hanging in there, in difficult – even tragic times.
    What an inspiration you and your family are. Pillars of strength and perseverance, despite the persecution of your past.
    The Lord’s blessings to you all, as you continue the mighty work of God on this very needy earth.
    Thank you.

    Hi Parise,
    We have been involved in Kairos Prison Ministries in Canada for over 10 years. It is a wonderful ministry and something I never dreamed I would every be doing.
    Kairos involvement led us to get involved in another prison ministry so we go into a local detention centre to lead a Bible study every week.
    It is such a pleasure to share the Lord with these men. You never know what you are going to learn from them!!! And they are so interested, although sometimes you think they’re there just to get out of the unit!!!
    God bless you, and your brother, Parise.

    Good one to hear.

    Thank you, Parise. I am a little late in reading this devotional, but you always inspire me to do more for Jesus. Thank you so much and may God bless you and your family.

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