By Lisa Manookian
Special to the Mirror-Spectator
PHILADELPHIA — On Sunday, April 3, Anahid and Papken Megerian, community activists here, hosted a program at their home, bringing together several members of the Philadelphia-Armenian community and the Very Rev. Babken Salbiyan, to raise funds for the spiritual needs of the historically Armenian Javakhk, now in the Republic of Georgia.
Salbiyan is the vicar general of the Diocese of Georgia and has been in Philadelphia since mid- February, taking courses at Temple University. He also gave a presentation on Friday, March 25, as a guest speaker at a Lenten lecture sponsored by Sts. Sahag & Mesrob Armenian Church in Wynnewood.
The afternoon began with a Lenten feast prepared by hostess, Anahid Megerian, after which the group gathered to listen to Salbiyan provide an update on his work in Georgia. Salibyan began by acknowledging the Megerians for hosting him and spearheading the support given to him over the past six years in his mission to tend to the spiritual needs of the Javakhk community and assist with its other humanitarian needs. The Philadelphia- Armenian community has been raising funds for Javakhk since 2004, when they first came together to help with renovations to the Diocesan Center in Akhalkalak, the main city in the center of the region. That center serves an estimated 200,000 Armenians in 130 villages. Back then there were five working churches in two villages and three cities. Now there are 30 fully functional churches and nine full-time clergyman reaching the needs of the communities.