How You Can Pray for this Ministry in Ukraine ~ April Update 2015

For this update, just after arriving in the U.S for some tent making and furlough time we thought we would fill everyone in on some specific friends in Ukraine they can be praying for.  If you are one to pray you can pray for one, some or all of the people below as you are led.  We and our friends in Ukraine are deeply thankful for your prayers!

(Click on the pics to enlarge)



Misha right


Misha began attending our English Clubs last year. He became a regular attendant and pursued spending time with us and other American friends to practice his English. He also came to summer camp. We all had many good conversations with him and He put his faith in Christ early last fall. A few months later he went out to work at sea for 6 months as he is training to be a seaman electrician. Recently he returned and his experiences with certain people at sea were very challenging but he maintained a good witness and held on to his faith eager to get back to church and see his Christian friends again!

Pray for his roots in Christ to grow deep and strong. Pray for his future job prospects.


Artyom right


Artyom was the first new student I met last semester at the Christian University. As I was setting up for my first day of teaching he came in, introduced himself and offered to help me. Artyom had come to the Lord less than a year before in another city. He began attending our Theology nights at the pub, a little later he visited English Club and then church. He began attending our church regularly and became one of our most faithful helpers at English Club. He has grown a lot in his faith in the last year.

Pray for his roots in Christ to grow deep and strong. Artyom quit attending the University and is looking at other options. He wishes to be in politics someday and for now is looking for a job.




Vova is Artyom’s roommate and best friend from his hometown. He’s often very busy with his law school studies but comes around now and then and recently began coming to English Club and helped us pack all our stuff before we returned to the States. He was born again awhile ago but more recently was struggling in his walk due to poor quality fellowship. He says he is doing much better now.

Pray for his roots in Christ to grow deep and strong.


Andrii right


Andrii is a good friend. I met him a couple years ago when I went on a hiking trip with Campus Crusade. He is a really good guy but was very skeptical of Christian claims to truth. I stayed in touch with him and he would come to our poker nights and later the Thursday night theology nights. He also became one of our best translators at English Club. For a year or maybe more he was asking lots of questions, mostly apologetic in nature. He said he didn’t want to accept Christ and then later find out it was wrong. I worked hard to give him satisfying answers to all his questions and a couple months ago he received Christ at a Campus retreat.


Pray for his roots in Christ to grow deep and strong.


Igor standing


Igor is a big tall guy who doesn’t eat meat, is really into organic foods, is very pro-Ukrainian, and has lots of interesting questions. I initially met him at English Club and his mom is a member at the central church. On a few occasions him and I have met and he has asked me a number of spiritual questions being very open yet skeptical at the same time. I praise God and was very encouraged to hear him say that I was able to give him more satisfying answers than anyone else he had spoken to, yet he has still to place his faith in Christ.

Please pray for a radical and sincere conversion.


Kostya right


Kostya is a port worker in distribution and logistics and a very good friend who has helped us out practically on many occasions in many ways. Two summers ago he began attending our church from a very non-religious, or “orthodox” background. His friends are very opposed to the Protestant church especially after he became a member a couple months ago. He and I have had many spiritual conversations and I am not just thankful to have been able to influence his life for Christ but for the influence he has made on mine as well. He is a servant.

Pray for his roots in Christ to grow deep and strong. Pray for favor on his job.


Andrey, Nina, & Timur on the right


Andrey is another seaman and a good friend. He has been under our pastor for quite a few years but working at sea is not easy on a person’s spiritual life. With a new child he feels the pressure of making money to find a flat for his family, and leaving his last job after a promotion to 3rd mate to find a new one hasn’t made things easier. Andrey wants to grow closer to God but there are many temptations and challenges he is facing.

Pray for his roots in Christ to grow deep and strong. Pray for faithfulness and favor in finding the right job.


Nik to my left


I met Nik early on last semester teaching at the Christian University. He became a regular at our Thursday night theology night, a big help at English Club translating and coming early to help set up and even began coming to church. He had come to Odessa from Eastern Ukraine to get away from the chaos over there and had a difficult time finding a stable place to live or getting a good full time job. Shortly before our return to the States he began choosing a different crowd and eventually began going another direction expressing his disappointment with Christians. Many of his frustrations were of his own making but he refused to accept that.

Please pray for a radical and sincere conversion.


Vova left


Natalia right


Vova is a friend who helps out at English Club (as does his mother Natalia) by playing guitar, when he is in town. He is also a seaman and as a Christian faces things daily which don’t actually help a person grow strong spiritually. He has more or less grown up in the church and he is a member at the central church where we hold our English Clubs.




Zhenya was in my small discussion group at summer camp with our old church 3 summers ago.  We have stayed in touch ever since then, become good friends, and had many good conversations about life in general and spiritual things.  He always comes around for poker night and once in awhile drops in at English Club or for theology night.  As open as he is he still has yet to make Christ Lord and Savior.

Pray for his roots in Christ to grow deep and strong.


Sasha 4th from the right


Sasha’s sister Nadia began coming to our English Club shortly before summer last year and then wound up going to our English Camp. We later met him through her and as he is a great translator would translate on occasion for us. Sasha is a great guy with a good outlook on life, unfortunately it is religion and morality based and Christless. It would be really great to see him take that step toward God as he seems to be so close.

Please pray for a radical and sincere conversion. Pray that he would find the job he needs.


Nadia & Marina to my right & left


These two girls came to our summer English Camp and have stuck with us since coming to English Club and the ladies Bible study on Thursday nights. Perhaps they haven’t fully placed their trust in Christ alone but they are very open and it seems something that could very likely happen should God open their eyes.

Please pray for a radical and sincere conversion.




Dima is another guy I met on the hiking trip with Campus. Later he came here and there on Thursday night, poker night, English Club and even taught me how to roller blade. He’s a great guy who recently visited church for the first time.

Please pray for a radical and sincere conversion.


Galia right of Lera


Galia is the backbone of our English Club. As a Native Ukrainian she helps us with many aspects of the English Club ministry including but not limited to setting up coffee/tea/cookies, making copies, sending out a weekly mass SMS, clean up, registration, keeping track of everyone’s E-bucks, contacting people with important questions, etc. Galia has been a church member for a while and is very happy to serve God and help us in any way she can. She truly sees it as a privilege and not a burden.

Pray for her roots in Christ to grow deep and strong.


Olga right


Olga is another good friend who lives with Galia and helps us out at English Club with set up/tear down and many things. She is a nice quiet girl who began attending church about 2 years ago.

Pray for her roots in Christ to grow deep and strong.


Alyona right


Alyona is a childhood friend of Lera’s who is a member at the central church. She is a helpful hand at English Club and other outreaches. Alyona has a sickness which effect her nerves and they are not communicating with her hands or feet properly. Recently Lera was working with her on some personal spiritual issues and both were blessed to grow through the process.

Pray for her roots in Christ to grow deep and strong. Pray for her physical health and strength.


Nastya left


Nastya began coming to English Club, along with many new comers, at the beginning of last semester after we went out to University Campuses the first week of classes and gave out free drinks and handed out English Club flyers. She studies English, Chinese and I believe German and eventually began translating at our English Club and her language skills are impressive for someone her age. She tends to shy away from spiritual conversations but last time I was at English Club told a story about how she went to church when she was sick and prayed and was cured of her sickness.

Please pray for a radical and sincere conversion.




Sveta began coming to English Club around the same time Nastya did and recently we started adding her to the translation rotation. She heard about the English Club by word of mouth through Lera’s grandma. She’s a bit shy but we know that our English Club has been a tremendous encouragement to her, a place where she has made new friends.

Please pray for a radical and sincere conversion.


The Twins


Katya and Lena are a pair of twins from a charismatic church who began coming to English Club 3 or 4 months ago. They are always eager to help whenever we need it and we were told that after we left they began coming early to help set up. They have brought a good number of friends from their church to our English Club. They also attend the ladies Thursday night Bible study.

Pray for her roots in Christ to grow deep and strong. Pray for doctrinal discernment and maturity in their lives.


Natalia in black


Natalie is a great girl with a good attitude who I met through Campus Crusade when I visited there. She later ended up coming to our English Club a lot and really seems to love it. As nice as she is she has never come to Bible study or any of our spiritual events although we would love to see that happen.

Please pray for a radical and sincere conversion.


Marina left, Anna right


Anna and Marina are two University students who attend classes nearby and have come to ELEVATE since it first began. We have become friends over time but have not had the privilege of introducing them to Christ as they tend to avoid that conversation or so it seems.

Please pray for a radical and sincere conversion.


Olyesa & Valeriia


Olyesa and Valeriia are two college girls who began coming to English Club and then after awhile began coming to Bible studies, our apologetics conference and church as well. Out of all the people we tried to reach through our week long EnglishUp! Event we saw the most immediate and visible fruit in these two girls who have been extremely thankful for the impact we have made in their lives. We are not sure if they have completely received Christ but they are very close with lots of good questions.

Please pray for a radical and sincere conversion. Pray for their roots in Christ to grow deep and strong.




Bob and Andrea are two MTW missionaries in town who have become dear friends of ours. They have been an extremely big help at English Club and have now helped to head it up now that we are in the States. Bob and Andrea have a sincere desire to see Christ’s fame spread and have servants’ hearts.

Pray for their family and for their ministry in Ukraine.


Robin right


Robin is another MTW missionary who was a regular help at the English Club and now helps head it up as well. Robin is a great friend with a lot of charisma and a lot of fun. They have just one more year in Odessa before they all go on furlough and then decided what city they will go to in Ukraine.

Pray for future guidance and provision for Robin.


Gorik left


Gorik is our pastor and a very faithful friend. They are praying, saving and working hard to find a church building in one area of the city while raising a family and pastoring a small church body.

Please pray for our church and for the new building.


There are so many more people that could be listed above, especially all the different people we have met through English Club. We can’t possibly list them all, but if you would pray for the English Club in general and all the many unbelievers coming through there God will work through that for sure. We won’t be a part of the English Club now that we are in the States for awhile, other than preparing power point lessons, so please keep things in prayer that He would continue to provide everything needed there to continue building His Kingdom one piece at a time. It is His ministry after all, not ours.