The Story of Havatal

Hi friend! I’m grateful you’ve stopped by!

Why am I launching this site?

All my life, I’ve loved exploring, experiencing, reading, and thinking. I’ve decided to start sharing with you the most important things I’m learning on this journey we call life. My desire is write informative and encouraging articles.

The Lord Jesus is characterized by grace and truth. (John 1:14) As His follower, my highest aspiration is to reflect these qualities.

Why the name Havatal?

Glad you asked! Havatal (pronounced ha-va-TALL) is an Armenian word. It looks like this in Armenian script: հավատալ.

While I’m not Armenian, the long and colorful history of the people group resonates with me. In A.D. 301, Armenia adopted Christianity as its national religion—the first country to do so. Throughout their history, the Armenians have faced periods of intense persecution. A hundred years ago, the Ottoman Turks slaughtered about 1.5 million Armenians. The accounts I’ve read of the atrocities will always haunt me. Henry Morgenthau, the U.S. ambassador to the Ottoman Empire during the genocide, wrote:

When the Turkish authorities gave the orders for these deportations, they were merely giving the death warrant to a whole race; they understood this well, and, in their conversations with me, they made no particular attempt to conceal the fact… I am confident that the whole history of the human race contains no such horrible episode as this. The great massacres and persecutions of the past seem almost insignificant when compared to the sufferings of the Armenian race in 1915.

Tragically, while the Armenian Holocaust was widely covered in the American press, virtually nothing was done to stop it. According to President Theodore Roosevelt, “The Armenian massacre was the greatest crime of the war, and the failure to act against Turkey is to condone it.”

A 2015 survey found that only 35% of Americans even know that the Armenian Genocide happened! What can we do to change this statistic?

Despite all they’ve endured, Armenian Christians—such as Dr. Edward Panosian, a former professor at Bob Jones University who lost family members in the genocide—refuse to be defined as mere victims. Instead, they are believers—believers in Jesus, prayer, hard work, laughter, celebration, and perseverance. They trust in a sovereign God who doesn’t allow suffering without purpose, a God who will one day wipe away their tears.

Out of all the beautiful words in the Armenian language, havatal is my favorite. It means believe.

This blog will serve as a platform for what I believe. My sincere prayer is to use the word havatal reverently, in a way that will make my Armenian friends proud.

Thank you for reading.

In Christ,

Zachary Jon Smith

Christ-follower. Editor-in-chief and prosateur at Semiprofessional talker. Billiards survivor. Candidate for Georgia’s youngest genealogist. 1/64 Native American-American. Part-time smiler and word-maker-upper.

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