Pargev didn’t know God had forbidden worshipping statues and pictures of any kind. He had occasionally heard stories about Jesus in his childhood but had never been “trained up in the way he should go.” Yet, as an early teenager, he felt a desire to come closer to God. “That’s why I started to worship icons,” the now 18-year-old Pargev recalls.
Icons are paintings of saints in Eastern Orthodox Churches—a common object of veneration to many Armenians. However, praying in front of the icons didn’t change anything, Pargev notes. He then tried to read the New Testament, but there was no one to guide him. “Honestly, I couldn’t understand anything of it,” he admits.
When Pargev went to college, he befriended a classmate named Haykaz. “He was a believer and shared the Gospel of Christ with me,” Pargev looks back. Haykaz also introduced him to Bible League’s Project Philip Bible study program. As it was during the COVID-19 pandemic, the lessons happened online. Pargev nevertheless enjoyed them immensely. Finally, he had found what he had been looking for since early childhood.
“There were days when Haykaz and I would talk for hours, discussing faith and God,” Pargev says. After finishing the program, he received his very own Bible—his first. “That was the most important day in my life,” he intimates. “Jesus Christ became my God and Savior.” On July 15, 2022, Pargev underwent water baptism.
Soon, Pargev will join the Armenian National Army as a soldier, a hazardous endeavor in the ongoing conflict between his country and neighboring Azerbaijan. He takes the step confidently because he knows the Lord will be with him. But not only that, he knows it is an opportunity to share the treasured love of Christ. “I feel in my heart that God will use me to share my faith with my fellow soldiers,” he says.
Pargev trusts the Bible League booklets will be of great benefit to him. “I’m so thankful for having them,” he says with gratitude. “Please, pray for me, my army service, my fellow soldiers, and peace in our region.”