Meet the Family
Behind the Project
– Our history and current status –
1993 – 2001
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.
Feb. 24th, 2022
“We were sound asleep until a nearby explosion woke us up at about 4 a.m.,” says John of his family’s experience in Odessa, Ukraine, on the morning of Feb. 24th. They immediately suspected a Russian invasion, but cars passed by as ordinary. They thought perhaps they were just paranoid – maybe they had heard a heavily loaded train racing over the nearby tracks. So they went back to bed. “Minutes later, we heard a massive explosion. When we peered out, we saw the night skies light up. It was time to flee.” The family left everything they knew, to seek refuge.
The trip to the border of Moldova takes 50 minutes. That day it took about 11 hours for the family. Arriving in the early morning, John feared Moldova would close their border before they could cross over. Instead, the border closed an hour after. “We were also witnessing tanks, other combat vehicles, Ukrainian troops, and even rocket launchers speeding on ahead of us, which heightened our fears since we were heading in the same direction.”
Love for Ukrainians
March 21, 2022
Becoming essentially refugees themselves in the US, John and Iryna felt more compelled than ever to act to ease the suffering of the Ukrainian people and provide hope through Love for Ukrainians. Due to the great need of others, John and Iryna (Ira) have pivoted their ministry overnight. They have started “Love for Ukrainians,” a project focused on providing relief for the displaced and those severely impacted by the war.
There is a great need for immediate logistics that are necessary to provide aid in conflict zones. In addition, there’s the need for an online presence for the growing number of partners who desire to help. Because of this, John entered a partnership with MERCY PARTNERS® to form Love for Ukrainians as a project of Odessa Mission while their work transitions.