Project Odessa Life | Monthly Ministry/Prayer Update | June 2012

Visionaries Wanted!

At times I’ve shared my hopes and dreams with friends. I remember once sharing a big dream with someone and after asking him how it sounded, he said it, “sounds like a pipe dream!” Well, whatever be said I can’t be accused of not working hard and not giving it a try. It was Augustine who said, “Pray as though everything depended on God. Work as though everything depended on you.” This is how I try to live my life as God gives me strength. I love the verse from Paul which says, “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.” 1 Cor 15:10, and this one as well, “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it.” 1 Cor 9:24, and we can’t forget this one, “Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor,” Rom 12:10, and finally, “Hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown.” Rev 3:11.

I believe God has a passion for his glory. He wants it. I’m definitely not against miracles and if God makes something happen miraculously then we might call it working by primary means. If He works through everyday people, efforts, events, and circumstances, we might call this working through secondary means. I believe that most of the time God primarily works through secondary means, but in such a way as that He gets the glory – always. We might not see it all, but the Bible clearly teaches us that He is glorified before the angels in Heaven (Eph 4). This is what I want to do. I want to outwork you all by the grace of God for the glory of God. I want to depend on God with all my being while doing with all my being. ‎”Prayer is abandoning self-sovereignty and resting in the rule of the One who is the definition of what is wise and good,” Paul Tripp. It has also been said, “Do something so big that unless God is in it, it is doomed to fail.”

It was Augustine who said, “Pray as though everything depended on God. Work as though everything depended on you.” This is how I try to live my life as God gives me strength.

Put all of this together and what have you got? Project Odessa LIfe building a large recreation center in Odessa, Ukraine! This is our goal! Will you pray and work and strive with us! We are hoping and praying for a location and funds reaching in the millions to build an outreach center for the children of Odessa Ukraine!

This week my wife and I, with some friends, were attending a big outreach with some Americans who had come to Odessa to teach people English at a big Baptist church here. They were with Michael Gott International. My wife was tested and placed in the advanced English class and I tagged along to watch and see if I could glean any new ideas on teaching English as an outreach tool. In the class I told a native Odessa teacher about my hopes to build a rec center here. She said, “good luck!” In short, I’ll just tell you, Ukraine is a different place and there may be many more challenges with something like that than in other places. For example, they do not have laws for land privatization here. Our class teacher was the main speaker and evangelist Michael Gott. He said the main difference between Ukrainians and Americans was one word. He said when Ukrainians ask, “why?”, Americans ask, “why not?” Now, this may be a slight generalization, however, my wife told me this is exactly what I say when she asks me, “why?” She said I always tell her, “Why not?”

Father keep us dependant on you in all we do!

For Prayer Requests, scroll to the bottom.

Last Months Highlights

Lera helping our missionary friends with some tips on the long Visa process we just completed.

For our first year of marriage my wife and I were together for 6 months. So, following my 3 month team building trip in the U.S. we planned to spend the first two weeks in Odessa together on a vacation of sorts. Well, we did some of that but due to the new laws (possibly due to this years Euro soccer games being in Ukraine) which make obtaining a visa much more difficult then it was before, we had a lot of work to do gathering documentation and making trips downtown to the Ovir office. I thought about writing a blog detailing, translating, and simplifying all the steps to take for other incoming missionaries. However, office matters and laws in Ukraine can sometimes change overnight. I was told the policy for obtaining a visa since the laws has changed has shifted about every 2 months. Lera and I got my documents in just the last week before our deadline, thanks to a lot of help from my wife and Arkadiy, our Associate Pastor, everything has worked out. When we were done my wife asked for a new list of necessary documents for our friends waiting outside. Something on the list had already changed in the 40 days since we got our list and began the process! Praise God, we pick up my Temporary Residence Visa on Wednesday!

Last month was filled with so much including financial budgeting, scheduling, planning internship, meetings with others and ministry, this visa thing, moving our stuff, building needed items for apartment, organizing mountains of things and working hard to improve the quality of our food intake.

Our friends Sergey, Caleb, and Alex helping us get our stuff moved. As the saying goes, “It’s better to have 100 friends than 100 rubles”.

The guitar I bought at an auction from our sister church who had an auction to help a run down nursing home outside of the city. I scored on this classical Yamaha guitar for just 40 bucks! (320 Hryvnas)

6 small churches in the area with our Evangelical Association joined for a common service on Sunday to form one big assembly!

Lera and I enjoyed making our first batch of homemade Greek yogurt! Ochin Fkusna! Very tasty! (and nutritious!) You really should try it at home!

Doing some shopping at the market.

Traveling through Odessa on the Marshrutka.

One daunting pile of stuff we had to work our way through.

The make shift counter I built with limited tool supplies. It wasn’t perfect, but close enough for all practical purposes.

Waiting for testing and registration at the 10 day English lessons event outreach.

The event with over 600 Ukrainians showing up daily.

The event was advertised a lot!

My Guest Appearance on Phoenix Radio Show Airing This Sunday Evening

Check out the one minute Video Introduction

[vimeo w=500&h=281]

Tattooed Missionary – Backpack Radio – June 17, 2012 from Roosevelt Church on Vimeo.

The Radio Show titled The Tattooed Missionary will be airing live June 17th at

KPXQ 1360 AM

and can later be listened to at

Backpack Radio

The guys from Roosevelt Community Church in Phoenix, AZ.

Prayer Requests

Please pray for Our Internship at Living Hope church this June through November.

Please pray for the vision and provision for the rec center.

Please pray for our ministries including speaking at Bible Study, English Clubs, upcoming English Camps, my planning for teaching a World Religions course at the Seaside Missionary Training Center this fall, discipleship and mentoring, community living and outreach, outreach to the homeless children, prayer day, Ladies night, Ladies craft, worship team, Children’s Sunday School, etc.

Thank You!!
Jacoby & Lera

“And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, [the church] multiplied.”
Acts 9:31

If you believe in what we are doing and would like to be a part of our team in a financial way, click to


English Club flyer I’m in the process of designing.