Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Grandma Yepros and the Missionaries

Why Grandpa Moses was in the United States is a long story, a story for a future blog post.  But the fact that he was in the United States, initially working in the granite quarries of Vermont, then in the shoe factories of Massachusetts, made it possible for him to prepare the way for his family to come to the United States.  Once he was here, his return to his homeland was prevented by the outbreak of World War I and the planned genocide of the Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire by the newly in power Young Turks.  How could he help his family?  

Grandpa Moses decided to send money to the family via the Protestant missionaries, the missionaries based in Boston, Massachusetts.

As the story was told to Marash Girl, the Protestant missionaries in Marash received the money that Grandpa Moses sent to help his family -- Grandma Yepros, Auntie Rosie, Uncle Paul, Auntie Gulenia and Marash Girl's father Peter.

Grandma Yepros was penniless, doing whatever she could to feed her family, and often going hungry herself so that there would be enough food for her children.  As Marash Girl has written elsewhere in this blog, Grandma Yepros worked in the hospital, she had her family weaving cloth . . . but none the less, they could barely manage to feed themselves in this time of war and devastation.

One day, Grandma Yepros received word from the missionaries that they would like to come to visit. Grandma Yepros, wanting to honor the missionaries, went to her neighbors and borrowed clothes for herself and her children so that they would not appear to be ragged upon the missionaries' visit . . . borrowed food so that the table would be overflowing in honor of the missionaries' visit . . . 

And so the missionaries visited and were delighted to see how well Grandma Yepros was doing in the midst of the chaos.  They decided not to mention the money Grandpa Moses had sent.  They (thought that they) knew that other families needed it far more than Grandma Yepros and her family.  And so the missionaries, after visiting with Grandma Yepros, decided to give the money that Grandpa Moses had sent for his family. . . decided to give that money to families that were more in need.


  1. How beautifully ironic - a wonderful bitter-edged story full of heart

  2. How beautifully ironic - a wonderful bitter-edged story full of heart