Thomas Cosmades





After his conversion, Vahram continued to ply his trade as tailor for a while.  But his whole ambition was to explain to everyone God's offer of salvation through Jesus Christ.  In those days spiritual life in the churches of Istanbul was at a low ebb.  Church people attended meetings, but a dry formalism prevailed.  Preaching lacked enthusiasm, liveliness and effectiveness.  Prayers were dry and deficient. Only a few spoke to others about Christ the Savior.  Many believers had emigrated to other countries, and a timid, joyless, deadening apathy had settled on those left behind.

The new birth and new life in Christ which Vahram spoke about were spiritual joys scarcely heard of.  For ordinary church people belief in Christ was simply a matter of going to church on Sundays, listening to a sermon, singing hymns, joining in the prayers and then going home again.  At this time only a handful of church people had come to the experience of new birth. The delight of new life and the joy of eternity were absent.  A few lively exceptions come to mind: Gregorios Moscho the Bible colporteur, Aleksan Batmazian, Hagopos Karakochian, Dr. Kirkor Tekian and the preacher, Garabet Derhovannesian.  And there was David Giray, a Jewish Christian born and brought up in Russia.  Also, as in the days of Christ's life on earth, there were a few women among them.  This constitutes the short list of true believers in Istanbul at the time.  The exemplary conduct, proven testimony and sincere prayers of these Christians gave a foretaste of what was to come later.

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