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Your trials are others’ inspiration which is true of my experience with Pasha and Alina.

Pasha And Alina

At the start of my day I pray a simple prayer, “Lord, today, is there someone you want me to connect with?” If there is, God usually draws my attention to them in some way.

The first day of the pastor’s conference in Poltava, Ukraine was one of those days. I was standing in the lobby of the church before the first session started. Two young leaders came up to me and welcomed me in English. “We are happy you are here.” There were many other pastors around but they were the only ones to venture over and try out their English. And I had a familiar prompting that they were the ones I was to connect with.

During the lunch break, I asked Tanya, my translator, to help me have a conversation with them.

Church Planting In A War

Their names are Pasha (29) and Alina (24). They had been married for five years. He is a welder and a youth pastor at a church in nearby Kakhovka. Most pastors in Ukraine are bi-vocational.

Just a few weeks before the conference, they had planted a church in Lubymivka, a small community in south, central Ukraine. They are co-pastors. The church meets on Friday nights because Sundays weren’t suitable. The community where they planted their church is in an area close to the frontlines of the war. You’ll most likely heard in the news about Russian rockets and artillery in neighbouring cities like Kherson or Zaporizhia.

They have a few trials but you won’t hear them complain. They are eager to do whatever it takes.

I asked if they had anything specific they needed and that I could pray for. They told me they wanted to host a McJoyful party for children in their community. We arranged to follow-up on Facebook messenger, prayed and went back to the conference. I knew that readers of REVwords had donated money for McJoyful parties. They got their funding.


Over the Christmas season we connected a couple of times. I am grateful for programs that translate English into Ukrainian. In January I got a note from Ed Dickson saying, “Pasha and Alina had an AMAZING McJoyful Christmas celebration in Lubymivka!”

So good, eh?

Then he added, “Also, I just heard today that the mayor of the village (after the McJoyful celebration) told them he will “give them” a place to start a church! I’m not exactly sure what that means yet but it sure is a positive.”

Thank you for supporting the McJoyful parties. You can see by the child with Alina that your kindness was appreciated.


For only $260 Canadian a month, we could free up two or three days a week for Pasha from his welding job, for him and Alina to focus on reaching their community. If you would like to join with Jocelyn and I to help support them, please email us at and let us know how much you would be able to donate each month or in a one-time donation. We will be working through Loads of Love for charitable receipts.

Bob just arranged to take holidays and go back to Ukraine in early April. He was invited to teach at the seminary in Liviv, speak at a pastor’s conference and visit new friends in Eastern Ukraine.  He is enquiring about being with Pasha and Alina in Lubymivka.

Keep Ukraine in your prayers. Keep sharing and posting about Ukraine. One of our Canadian soldiers serving in the International Legion where we distributed food said, the way to lose a war is to lose attention. The West has lost attention on Ukraine.

Do what you can to keep Alberta and Canadian attention in the right way on Ukraine.

Hope grows here.  We share stories that inspire people, build faith, and offer lasting purpose.

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Bob Jones

Happily married to Jocelyn for 44 years. We have two adult sons, Cory and his wife Lynsey and their son Vincent and daughter Jayda; Jean Marc and his wife Angie and their three daughters, Quinn, Lena and Annora. I love inspiring people through communicating, blogging, and coaching. I enjoy writing, running, and reading. I'm a fan of the Double E, Bruins, Celtics, Red Sox and Pats. Follow me on Twitter @bobjones49ers

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