Monday, March 10, 2008

Third Time's A Charm

You know we have been trying to go to church since we got here and every week there has been some crazy story why we didn't quite make it there.  WELL, this week we were determined!  Kalem had the map and pretty well thought he knew how to get there.  We were clean (without draining the ENTIRE water tank), well dressed and ready to go.  Kalem found the church and about 19 potholes's funny how he finds the ability to avert the ones on HIS side but not mine...I must look into this at length!?!  We were about 15 minutes late but Kalem said it would be alright.  We walked into a packed facility with almost no seat available!  We were waved to a particular row with only two available seats (mind you there are 5 of us still), I didn't know if they expected us to sit on their laps or if each family was only allotted two seats.  As we stood in front of people trying to get seated we were finally allowed a third seat!  Kalem had Peter on his lap, Franko on mine, and Jude had her own seat (lucky duck!)  We were between a row of 5 ladies on Kalem's side and two two-year olds (boy and girl...twins perhaps) and their medz-mideeg on Judi's side.  We had no sooner sat down when the grandma and the two-year olds were offering Judi a bag full of GOLDFISH CRACKERS!!!  Now I need to digress here and for good purpose.  If you don't know this, Kalem and I have been working out teaching our children to worship God WITH us in Church every Sunday.  When I was in school in Pasadena, I took a parenting class as a part of my Marriage and Family studies course work.  In that class I read countless books on communicating your faith to your children.  We had NO children at the time but we were abundantly aware of God's desire to train up our children in HIM.  During my studies I found a book called, Parenting in The Pew, by Robbie Castleman, she is a pastor's wife who writes helpfully and candidly about this wonderful process.  Those of you who worship with us in Fresno at Pilgrim, see Judi, Peter, and Frank every Sunday and the BLESSED ERITZIAN FAMILY!!! in the front rows of the church "TRYING" to get this worship thing down (answering the Kazarian Kid questions of, "Why does so and so get to bring stuffed animals to church?  Why is what's her name drinking a juice box?  Why can't we have crayons and paper?" is a process!  We don't just want them to be QUIET we want them to learn what worship is, why we are in Church and what God expects from US!  Now all of you parents who do this or are attempting to do this KNOW how difficult this can be with small children (or teenagers for that matter).  We have a 6, 4, and 2 1/2 year old sitting next to us for 60 or 70 minutes regularly and we know how difficult that hour can be.  I now return you to present day Armenia, Sunday, March 9, 2008!  No sooner did we sit down and the grandma is offering Judi Goldfish crackers to which she said, "No."  (I was SO proud of her!)  We were doing alright, the service started at 10:30am, we were there by 10:45am and by 10:50 we had resisted our 1st temptation.  The service was wonderful with worship music for the whole congregation, their AMAZING 21 person choir (that tours the globe), songs and poems from about 100 children for Woman's Day, Prayers, lots and lots of prayers, offering, more prayers, and of course the sermon.  About 15 minutes into the service Frank decides that he wants DaDa and that the WHOLE CHURCH needs to know this also.  No sooner did the words come out of his mouth when the grandma with the crackers was on the scene offering Goldfish goodness to quiet the child.  Another friendly "No Thank You" from "THE MOTHER" (that's me), and a hand off of Frankie to Kalem and Peter to me.  All is well.   I am not sure of the time of the next infraction but it WAS NOT was the grandma with the twins...they were nuzzaling (sort of between crying and wimpering) and every head turned to look at them.  The five ladies next to Kalem all leaned over at varying degrees and sounded like a barber shop quartet +1 with the series of "TTTTTHHHTHTH" [I don't know how to write it but if you are ARMENIAN you KNOW this sound! it is like a "tisk, tisk" but the meaning can be anywhere from, "How sad, to "You are the biggest dope on the entire planet!" and anywhere in between.]   Then they make their assessment and what should be done in the situation.  You see in Armenia there is no "Privacy" or dealing with anything on your own.  If you exist there is always another Armenian to witness your existence and to let you know how to do it BETTER!  The grandma just smacked both twins on the head!  and told them to "SOUSE".  I just whispered to Kalem, "Thank you LORD that wasn't us!"   Oh, silly girl...A few minutes later Peter was trying to punch his way through my skirt and the FIVE women next to Kalem leaned over to investigate.  The one closest to Kalem pulled out 3 TOOTHBRUSHES to appease the little warrior and grandma was poised and ready with the blasted GOLDFISH!   {Now I have seen a lot of ways to get a child to quiet down during worship, but I HAVE NEVER SEEN TOOTHBRUSHES offered EVER!  Perhaps this is what the Fletchers, Eritzians, Kharahadians, and Bramanti's have used in the past.  Again I will have to have you all confirm the role of the toothbrush in training up a child in the LORD!   At the 1hour 15 minute mark the pastor asked all 1st time visitors to if we didn't stand out enough! : )  Along about the 2 hour mark EVERYONE in the Kazarian family was ready for church to be over.  I'll admit it...we are rookies when it comes to Marathon Churching, and try it all in another language, with everyone looking at you.  And now Judi had to have her moment.  Judi begins to whimper, "Mommy I am sooooooo hungry."  "This is the longest church I have ever been to."  Here we go.  Now I'M LOOKING FOR THE WOMAN WITH THE CRACKERS!  The service ended at 1:05pm!!  I think we more than made up for our three missed attempts!!!  When we regrouped I asked the kids if they thought this service was longer or shorter than Badveli Ara's at Pilgrim Church in Fresno.  Judi thought the one in Armenia but PETER was CONVINCED Ara was far more long winded!  : )  But they both agreed they liked the 5 Minute Church the BEST!  Loving This All Jonelle;)  oh, I can't wait to tell you about lunch after the service!!!!!

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