Berberian: May 2007

Newsletter from Sam and Martha – May 13, 2007
Making a difference through preaching, teaching and writing.

I see that we owe our dear friends a letter! Evidently we have been too busy “doing” and not much “reporting” about the blessings of God here in Guatemala. After graduations in November last year, Martha went to have an operation so that helped me to slow down some for a couple of weeks, and activities of the end of the year. Starting the New Year, I had a trip to El Salvador for a leadership seminar as well as several preaching engagements before the start of the academic year, which is mid January.

With God’s help, the second week of January we had the start of the classes in the Frederick Crowe Institute, having a new school director. The manager of Doulos Foundation, Margarita Rodriguez (my student of theology back in the 1980s), has set clear goals for this year on matters of administration as well as looking at the possibility of a new building so the whole staff can be consciously involved in this process. Our library of 12,500 volumes (see the picture, with the stacks very close to each other, because of lack of space) could well use the whole space we have now for the institute and library, so you can imagine how tight we are. In the other picture you see how the thousands of newspaper and magazine clippings are collected and bound in black volumes that an investigator can use easily, by topics. Because of our space limitation, it demands careful planning to make things function. So with God’s help we are getting the job done. Thank you for your prayers for us in the decisions we have to make. Our advisors have suggested that when we purchase the property for the library, it can rent class space to the Institute so that can give an income to the library to be self supported.

The good team of teachers has been a motivating force to encourage more students to enroll, even being of a low income. The students have the support of the teachers to help them and encourage them to reach their goals. Plus your financial help, their studies become reality. It is a joy to see among the very poor students excellent minds that are being developed for the Lord. Thank you for your part in sending $250 per year.

In the Panamerican University classes began also in January with the undergraduate and graduate programs. This year we started with a new doctoral program: Sociology of Religion. One of the students is an academic dean of a university and the other student is a consultant for publicity agencies, both who are professionals and actively involved in their churches.

I continue to travel and lead workshops for leaders all the time. In this picture I am giving two talks to 100 pastors and wives in the area of Quiche. Thank you again for being a part of our ministry.

“Whoever sows generously will also reap generously.”
Your brother,

(Dr. ) Samuel Berberian

A letter from Martha – May 18, 2007

Sam has been involved with ministry for 50 years now. With our children, we organized a motivating service of thanks to God in April, which dates when Sam was converted in Argentina and began immediately to serve the Lord in street evangelism with other Armenian young men who were also converted. His first ministry was in pushing the sound system cart, setting it up with the record player, and controlling the volume for the microphones. Thousands met Jesus Christ in those 7 years of street ministry.

Sam’s next ministry (actually simultaneous) was with tracts through the mail, sending evangelistic literature all over Argentina to people who requested them. That was hard work but very effectual in winning more people to the Lord through literature.

Sharing with Sam in ministry for these past 42 years of marriage has never been boring. Of course, the first part of our ministry was with books, with the CLC bookstore in downtown Buenos Aires. See the picture. I was expecting Steve at that time. We are still working with books, using them as a tool in ministry, through books we have written, and books that we have collected to share through the medium of our well-stocked library of 12,500 volumes. I need to add that over a 1,000 books are stored in boxes as there is no room for them on the shelves, and they are not repeat titles.

After a two year trip in 25 countries (1968-1969), we were in Buenos Aires for a year, that was when Elizabeth (Lisa) was born.

Our next ministry was in pastoral work, three years in Beirut, Lebanon with the 2nd Armenian Brotherhood Church (see the picture during summer conference). As a young couple with two small children, we gave ourselves wholeheartedly to caring for the congregation.

From there we pastored 3 years in Topeka, Kansas, in English this time, again with special experiences, such as when Sam was a Police Chaplain.
Arriving in Guatemala in August of 1977, our work took a turn toward training leadership. This has been a challenging ministry, to raise up among young people and older people, leaders who know the Word, know their church and know their world, to make a difference. In the picture Sam and I are in a Doulos Foundation session, planning how to help Guatemalans grow spiritually and intellectually, through the Frederick Crowe Institute and the Nunez Library. Thanks for being a part of our ministry.

Income tax receipts are provided by Christ’s Mandate for Missions (CMM), Directed by Jorge and Anna Parrott. Please write your check to CMM and mail to P. O. Box 7705, Charlotte, North Carolina 28241, with a note “For Berberians in Guatemala”.