I was born in March of 1979 in Shostka, Ukraine in the pastor’s family. I started going to church nine months before I was born. All of my life, as long as I can remember myself, I had a calling to be a pastor. I preached my first sermon at the age of 11, was baptized at the age of 15, and leading youth ministry at the age of 16. In 1997, my family and I moved to Tacoma, Washington, and I wanted to go back ever since.
At the age of 20 I got married to my beautiful bride Zhanna, and on our second anniversary we had three kids in diapers and under the age of two. Needless to say, life got busy very fast: bigger house, bigger car, bigger bills. However the thought of going back never left my heart. Though I was always involved in ministry at the local church, I never grew deep roots. I was always looking for the person that I can entrust my ministry to, in case I go back. I was waiting on God’s call to go to the mission field.
In 2008, my wife and I decided that it’s time to move. I went for a scouting trip to Nizhniy Novgorod, Russia, and after two weeks came back disoriented. I do not know if the timing was not right, or I was not ready, or I did not go to the right place, but something was off. I continued my ministry as a youth pastor at a local church in Tacoma, and was ordained in 2011. I visited many conferences, attended a church planting network, read books, listened to sermons, and podcasted other conferences that I could not attend. I was trying to learn and get ahead as much as I could.
2012 came around and I turned 33 in March. It was a defining moment for my life. I wanted to know my lifelong mission and lifelong calling. It felt like time is slipping by and I only have maybe 25-30 more years of active ministry left. I couldn’t bear a thought of wasting any more time. I talked to my wife about it, and our solution was to pray and fast once a week for God’s guidance in our life. After a while it became clear that we should go to Russia/Ukraine for the next chapter in our ministry. In May of 2012 we went for a scouting trip to Shostka Ukraine, Kiev Ukraine and Nizhniy Novgorod Russia. After two weeks emotions flooded our hearts, we were nervous, excited, happy, and anxious at the same time. After we prayed over our fears and let our emotions settle, it became clear that God was calling us to Shostka. Out of the three, it is the most difficult place to go, but I believe that God is ahead of us, and he is already preparing the rest of the team to serve alongside with us, and more importantly, he is at work in those hearts that will be saved through this ministry.
Slowly we started to make arrangements and raise support for our mission. Our initial plan was to go in August/September of 2013, but things didn’t worked out the way we planned, and we stayed back for another winter. In the mean time, Ukraine entered some rough waters. God started His work among the people. Reality of our hearts, is that we don’t look for God, until there is nothing else left to hold on to, and through these events God started His work of calling people to Himself and changing their hearts.
We are excited about this opportunity to serve Him. By the end of July we will be in Ukraine. Please keep us in your prayers, sing up for our prayer update email.
May God bless you
Thank you for your partnership with us.