Hovhannes Tovmasyan

Hovhannes Tovmasyan from Armenia with love

Shalom! I am a consultant-in-training with a Bible translation organization that has a vision of reaching the oppressed and the lost with God's Word that can liberate and transform lives!

Just like mine was liberated and transformed. There are about one billion people who have never had the Holy Scriptures in their mother tongue and I have a sense of responsibility to help them have it, understand it, love it, and live by it. Just like I do, or at least try to do! This sense of responsibility comes out of my nationality and personality.

 

Two disciples of the Lord, Thaddeus and Bartholomew, served in the land of Ararat shortly after the Resurrection of the Lord. Historical records confirm the existence of communities of believers in the 2nd century and onwards. The Scriptures, however, were read and taught in Greek or Syriac. So under the threat of assimilation with Zoroastrian Persians, the Armenian royalty and clergy sent out educated men for developing a national script and a mandate to translate the Scriptures into the Armenian language. By divine grace, the mission was accomplished in the early 5th century. What was accomplished then is to be accomplished now for other nations; other nations helped my forefathers understand and spread the Scriptures throughout the country and over generations… I must do likewise for others.

On the personal side, I have providentially been led by the Lord for this task! I have inherited an aptitude for languages from my parents, have been educated in foreign languages and linguistics, have translated for, trained and consulted foreign and local professors and preachers, education consultants and business leaders since 2000. Now I translate textbooks and commentaries for local Bible schools, teach on biblical themes at missions schools, etc. The strongest responsibility is, however, to help other nations and people groups, typically minorities in Eurasia, be introduced to the wonders of the Scriptures and make personal commitments to follow the Lord Jesus. I cannot do otherwise.

I also have a spiritual responsibility to be engaged in Bible translation, which is based on the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20). It is one of the ways to resist the pervasive evil in our communities and governments. I would rather be a part of the victorious move of the Holy Spirit that is sweeping across the globe than be a passive victim of the ferocious enemy. My heart aches when I see poverty and illiteracy; my heart is grieved when I observe greed and abuse of power. Therefore I pray for transformation of lives through divine healing, infilling and education. 

My walk of faith started with the miraculous healing of my father in 1988, when I was a teenager. I observed his godly behaviour over the following years, but yet I was ignorant of what he knew. We used to live in poverty, triggered by the war with a neighbouring country, a devastating earthquake that took the lives of some 25,000 within seconds and the ultimate collapse of the Soviet Union. We had to live for years in basically one room, lacking food and clothing, running water and heating. These conditions coupled with trauma and constant stress developed rheumatoid arthritis in my mother. My high school years were spent in manual labour, peer conflicts, family tension and a sense of helplessness. One day, as I was carrying a door with my father, I fell down due to lack of strength. There, still on the ground, I prayed: "Lord Jesus, please take us out of poverty!"

My father and I still had to go from door to door selling cheap stuff just to have enough to cover the cost for my higher education. This was in the context of high unemployment of the early 1990's. Nonetheless, I did get higher education; more than that, my father made efforts for me to get a deferral from the mandatory military service so that I could study on in a post-graduate program. I studied the Scriptures as part of my theses; my mind was gradually being renewed and I was increasingly being fascinated by the work of Christ in my parents, in my country and around the world. I developed an ever-increasing passion for the truth of his words. These experiences have taught me the value of forgiveness and patience, of the vital need to wholeheartedly embrace the word of God and to live out the values I learn from it.

On one Pentecost day of celebration, the Lord filled me with the power of the Holy Spirit and gave me the gifts of the utterance. I felt closer to God than before and an indescribable joy was welling up in me. I kept on praying all night, thinking I might lose the gift of joy if I stopped praying. Little did I know then that the powerful gift of the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit Himself, was going to be with me throughout the trials and triumphs of the future.

A remarkable feature of my walk of faith is the studies of the Scriptures in the original language. Indeed, the ability to read the Scriptures in Hebrew has opened up a vast treasure vault, which is not fully nor widely recognized. So far, I have only seen the tip of the iceberg. I check translations and give exegetical advice based on the Hebrew Scriptures verse by verse. In addition to maintaining fidelity in translation, these activities continuously correct and teach me. If you would like to hear more of how the Lord has answered my prayer and taken us out of poverty, both physical and spiritual, then please feel free to write me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Perhaps we could mutually help and encourage each other! In the meantime, I pray that the Lord keep you safe and sound, establish you in his calling, provide for all your physical, material, emotional, intellectual and spiritual needs and give you shalom!

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Hovhannes Tovmasyan Testimony