Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Wonders of Armenia

A technician in my group at work is an older man from the former Soviet Union. He has been a visitor to my lab multiple times for long stretches. He is a gentle, humorous, and hardworking soul. His homeland is Armenia, a small mountainous country whose western side borders Turkey and whose southern edge meets Iran. For many years he trained to become a scientist, but as there were scant few positions available in his country, he eventually found his way to the States. As has happened to many of his colleagues from back home, they now work as technicians at different laboratories around the world. Yet this man never shows any bitterness or regret, and his positive "can-do" approach has always impressed me. I am also impressed with how he carries his homeland with him. He loves to talk about the history of his country, their arts, traditions, foods, and passions. If you spend a few days working with him, you will not have to guess where he is from or what he believes. Within a short time he will happily tell you of his past and share stories from his homeland. He is not bragging or pushing himself on anyone, it is more that he is overflowing with loyalty and pride for his country that he cannot contain his joy.

Recently after one of our discussions, he brought me a copy of an encyclopedia of his homeland called Wonders of Armenia (by Samvel Gasparian), which presented a comprehensive history of his country and its growth and development over the past millenia. Ancient times to the modern day. I found it interesting how the encyclopedia was written the same brimming passion and zeal as my colleague at work, not some dry "just the facts" tome.

My colleague's approach to sharing of his national pride comes so naturally to him. He is humble and engaging, and makes you want to learn more from him just by his attitude and his spirit. As a Christian, I have often lamented that my beliefs and passions are often too deeply buried for anyone to ever even recognize or be drawn to. How can I minister to anyone if I never even begin to share the wonders of my God and why I believe what I do?