Since 1993, John has dedicated himself to serving the Ukrainian people free of charge, whether that meant helping needy families build their homes, teaching English, offering medicines, supporting kids with leukemia, introducing people to Jesus, or supplying water for small villages. Shortly after their wedding in 2001, John and Iryna started the Odessa Mission, running a soup kitchen for retirees. On February 24th, 2022, their family was displaced by the war, becoming essentially refugees themselves in the US. Therefore, they feel more compelled than ever to act to ease the suffering of the Ukrainian people and provide hope through Love for Ukrainians.
Those Impacted by You
– Ukrainian refugees and those internally displaced –
Paralyzed with fear, Alyona had holed up in a cottage with her two children. We asked prayer partners to pray, knowing that an attempt would be made to retrieve them as troops advanced within hours. The following communication we received was how God gave her the courage to self evacuate to the border region. Later we were able to send funds direct for food and other basics. Finally, we prayed over the transactions which are becoming increasingly difficult to transmit due to network failures and bank insecurities.
Evgheniy and Natasha
We assisted Evgheniy and Natasha with their 3 children fleeing the war-torn city of Kharkiv to reach Western Ukraine. Later Evgheniy was told he probably would need to serve as a military Chaplin. He wrote: “The military dept. told me I can stay with my family until needed. They will call if I am required to enlist… Later the minister in a nearby town has invited me to preach while sheltering refugees from the east. Please pray for me to have the right words.”
Ihor, Hanna, and baby Nastya
Some of John’s disciples are caught in the war. While Ihor serves on the front lines, Hanna and baby Nastya dig in, she communicates to Ira these words:
“We are 30-40 km away [from the front line]. Our military mined the fields, [we are] dug in. In a word, it’s hard to wait and listen to explosions. Medicines are in great demand. Food is being delivered but oftentimes store shelves are empty. [Stores are no longer accepting credit cards or even debit. They’re only taking cash.] Only cash desks are operating in banks and require waiting outside in the cold for between three and four hours at a time before it’s your turn. Some banks still offer ATMs but they run out of cash very quickly. Prices are skyrocketing. It’s frightening what’s going on in Mariupol, Kharkov, Chernihiv – cities without light, water, heat, and food. I can no longer calmly hear the reports when people are living this nightmare. Everyone needs to know what is happening here. I would not believe it if I just heard it [and not lived it], but this pain is already close. You need to [shout what is going on from the rooftops]. We cannot afford to lose our country because next it could be Europe and maybe more that we will lose.”