Armenia CropKarine was just seven years old when she lost her father to an unknown illness. She was left with a terrible scar, too young to handle the pain. “I loved my dad very much. After his death, I couldn’t adapt to his absence for many days and weeks. I didn’t want to meet anyone and preferred to close myself in my room. I went to school being very sad, came home, and locked myself in my room. I put my dad’s picture almost everywhere and could look at his picture for hours.”

Today, Karine is 11 and studies in 5th grade in a small town in Armenia. Most people in the town know each other. The people are simple, needy, and have no regular jobs. Her mother did not have a steady job and found it hard to make ends meet for a family of four.

A school friend’s mother, who visited her home, introduced Karine to the Bible. “She spoke to my mother and grandmother. She was a very kind woman and talked about Jesus Christ. She told me that Jesus loves me very much and wants to help me. She invited me to a Project Philip children’s home group.”

The Bible studies made an impact on her life. She loved being part of the group. “I have never been to such a group,” she exclaims. “The children and the teachers were so kind and loving to me. The Bible lessons were exciting. Most of all, I liked the ‘Ten Commandments’ topic, especially the commandment of Jesus Christ when He said, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. This is the first and most important command. And the second command is like the first: Love your neighbor the same as you love yourself.’ I learned that these two things are very important: to love God and to love people.”

God transformed her life remarkably. “After my father’s death, I became a bitter, aggressive, and closed girl. I had hatred in my heart toward people. I thought that people were guilty of my sad life. I missed my dad and cried secretly almost all the time. But when I started to visit the children’s Bible study group, God changed my life and gave a special joy in my heart.”

Karine has a special place for God’s Word in her life, which is the secret to her transformed life. She says, “I love the story about Queen Esther from the Bible. I imagine her as a beautiful girl who loved God and her nation. She did everything to help her nation and save them from the evil plans of the enemies. I want to be like her, loving God and my fellow Armenians. It would be awesome to help my Armenians be saved from the evil plans of our enemy nations. My favorite Bible verse is in Matthew 28:20, where Jesus promises to be with us.”

Her family and friends see Karine as a new person. “I have become a happy girl with the desire to help my mother and grandmother at home and help my friends at school. They can see that I want to talk about Jesus and share the Bible stories with my friends.”