Jacoby & Lera’s plans in the States
Back in Ukraine
Serving in Ukraine the last four years has been an experience you couldn’t put a price on. We learned so many things about missions, practical logistics of ministry, ourselves, and God’s direction for our ministry. 2014 became of season of many open doors, spiritual doors, new partnerships, and lots of work.
For some time we’ve been preparing to come to the States for the task we are upon now. Just before it was time to fly around the world we asked ourselves if we should just stay put and continue serving in Odessa being as things were going so well.
Here in the States
The plan here in the States is basically to spend some quality time here building relationships with pastors and friends for something greater in the future concerning effectively and strategically impacting the city of Odessa with the Gospel.
It was our hope when we first arrived in the U.S. to spend some time fishing in Alaska to clear us of the debt we have, get us set up financially for initial investments in our new non-profit start up MIA: Mission Impact Alliance, and possibly by a car, which we will need for the upcoming transient itinerary. However, fishing is a feast or famine type job and always a risk. Although the past few years it has been pretty good, it is looking like this time around may turn out to be mediocre at best. So, we press on in faith continuing forward knowing that we lean on a sovereign and perfectly able God – not trusting in a job. Lord willing, the hope is this will be the last time ever we are forced to supplement our missionary salary and ministry expenses through commercial fishing.
While here in the States we continue to provide material and lessons for our English Club outreach in Odessa. Missionary friends of ours are heading it up while we are away. Our work is being sent to them by email. We have always believed that if it is God’s work and not ours He will maintain it and provide the help we need to keep things rolling. He has done just that.
Encouraging news is being sent back about this years summer English Camp through our church. Last year after we just started English club ministry we had very few people coming to camp with us. It was just about 4 people coming from English club and the camp itself was very small. Over the year God blessed us and multiplied the amount of people in English club. This year 44 people went to summer English camp mostly from the English club. Most of those people showed interest in coming to church and/or Bible studies. Praise the Lord!
The Vision and Mission
The vision of MIA is to start a few recreation centers throughout the city of Odessa. In the States we will be vision casting, recruiting new team members to join us abroad, forming new partnerships with churches who can send over help and join with us prayerfully and financially. Additionally Lera will be studying Biblical Counseling and I will be studying the Russian language.
Mission Impact Alliance has been formed legally as of June 1st, 2015 and will soon be awaiting 501(c)3 status approval from the IRS. Legally we can now begin receiving financial contributions which are all retroactively tax deductible upon approval. Our chances of approval are very good being as the accountant helping us says they have a 100% approval rate to date.
We cannot say how long we will be in the States but we plan to be here until God has blessed us with the needed funds and the team to return to Ukraine and get things under way. We have set aside 3 years for full time fundraising and recruiting with summer trips to Ukraine for outreach and camps. Goals may be achieved sooner or later than this.
With all our hearts we believe this is what God has called us to and that He will provide the means and the people. We believe that setting aside the work abroad for a season will bring about greater fruit for the future. Thus far the missions methods we have employed have reaped very encouraging results and we have every reason to believe these plans will succeed to the glory of God as we commit them to the Lord and He blesses us. Ultimately, if it is God’s will, we will return home to Odessa and continue the work for many years.
Those who are currently our financial partners will be asked sometime in August or September to begin sending their donations to Mission Impact Alliance and all transactions through SOImpact will be discontinued.
We are writing so those who continue to support us understand the vision and the mission and what they are getting behind. While we are currently in the States the work being done now is laying a foundation (as we have been doing together for four years now) for something much greater in the future. It is a big step of faith for us. Would you stand with us on this journey of faith?
Soon we will be in touch with all of our friends and pastors we know to begin setting up times we can come and cast our vision for your church or home group. We would love to come and see you. Please be in touch and let us know if you would like us to come and share. This mission is not ours, it is God’s and it is all of ours and we can only accomplish it with you.
In faith, by grace, with love,
Jacoby & Lera
(Fishing hasn’t turned out that well this year as it has in previous years. We have a need for a car but probably can’t afford one. Just putting it out there to pray for or perhaps you know someone who could bless us in this way. We are happy to drive anything however old. Good gas mileage is very helpful though!)