A war’s impact is often described in terms of trauma, casualties, and similar negative phrases. Such was certainly the case in Telmina’s life, but there was another side to it, too. There was an unexpected, positive outcome.
Telmina is 45 and lives in Jrashen, a village in Armenia’s Lori Province. “I’ve always lived far away from God,” she confesses. “I was an angry person with a gossiping character.”
In the early fall of 2020, Telmina was watching TV. “There was a show on a local channel about God’s miracles,” she recalls. Usually, Telmina wouldn’t listen to such “stupid Christian things,” but this time, she somehow kept watching. “They shared a Bible verse, which deeply impressed me,” she says. “It was from Acts 16:31, ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved—you and all who live in your house.’”
Telmina, who always had mocked the Evangelical believers in her village, now felt compelled to learn more about God’s Word. Setting aside her shame, she visited Pastor Mkhitar, a Bible League partner. He and his wife warmly welcomed her and told her all she wanted to know about God. Not long after, she joined a Project Philip Bible study group. “I gave my life to Christ after a couple of lessons,” Telmina relates. “I noticed a new light and joy in my life.”
Sadly, her newfound faith was seriously tested soon after. That September, the war between Armenia and Azerbaijan broke out, and Telmina’s son went to the frontline to fight. She couldn’t sleep anymore; all she could do was pray. “I fought for my son in the spiritual realm,” she remembers. “Psalm 91, about the angels guarding us, comforted me a lot, giving me the strength to move on.”
Miraculously, Telmina’s son returned safely when the war was over after 44 days. “I realized it was all by the mercy of the Lord Jesus,” she says. Meanwhile, Telmina’s husband, a non-believer, was in a terrible state. His heart couldn’t bear the concerns for his son, and even when the boy came home, his father couldn’t physically recover. The war was about to cause another casualty. Thank God, that isn’t the entire story.
Once, while sitting at her husband’s bed, it was as if Telmina heard a voice inside: “It’s his final moment, but you can help your husband to receive salvation.” She knelt and asked her husband, “Will you pray with me, now you must go to the Lord?” She said the prayer of repentance, and, to her amazement, she heard him repeating it. “His last words were, ‘Lord Jesus, forgive my sins and accept me under Your roof.’ Then, he closed his eyes and died,” she recalls. “At that moment, I received peace in my heart.”
The words from Acts 16:31, “You and all who live in your house,” had become true.