Anait Sargsyan’s story begins with a series of discouraging events: her father was convinced by his family to divorce her mother because they had three daughters and no sons; her mother suffered from medical problems resulting from severe beatings by her husband; and the courts in Armenia refused to grant her mother’s request for a fair settlement of the divorce. After an uncle negotiated a settlement of the divorce, Anait’s mother took her three daughters and moved to the Krasnodar Region in 1989. Anait’s mother took the modest settlement she received from her husband’s family and put it in the bank for each of her three daughters, but in the early 90s all of the money was lost due to runaway inflation. In spite of all of these set-backs and the difficulty of starting life over in the Krasnodar Region, Anait was determined to do something with her life.
In 1994, Anait got to know some Canadian missionaries who had come to work in her area. She was impressed by their joy, and by the way the Christians with them helped each other. Even more important than these things were to Anait, however, was the reality that she could have eternal life. Since she had been a small child, she had had an unusual fear of death, and when she found hope in Christ, she was freed from these fears.
Anait finished a technical school to become a technician of sugar refining and production, but found that working in a sugar refinery was not much of a future—the conditions were dangerous, and she did not enjoy working as a technician. As a result, she decided to try to find some other work. Eventually, she became the manager of a computer training center, where in addition to some teaching of computer classes she helped maintain the computer network. Although she enjoyed this work more than the sugar factory, she felt that she still had not found her place. As a result, she decided to take a five-month training program with Youth With A Mission. With this program, she traveled to Rostov-on-Don, where she completed three months of intensive training and two months of outreach.
Shortly after completing that training, she found an advertisement for RACU in a small Christian newspaper, and after another acquaintance told her about some friends studying at RACU, she decided to apply. Now a first-year student, Anait is hoping one day to work as a translator or perhaps a teacher of languages (she speaks Armenian, Russian and English). She especially likes the environment at RACU, and she says that it is very conducive to study. In addition, she comments, “I like it that here the mentality of the professors is higher than in other places I have studied.”
In order to make ends meet while she studies at RACU, Anait lives with a 93 year-old woman who needs a lot of care. While this living situation is extremely difficult (the woman would prefer Anait to be home 24 hours a day and complains about her studies), Anait has a good attitude about it. She knows that she cannot look for much help from her mother, because she makes a very low salary in the sugar factory.