Testimony of project coordinator
Sasha and Olya Skrypak were born in the USSR in the 1970's. Sasha’s father was in the military. There were no Christians in his whole family. All the family members were typical Soviet atheists. Sasha grew up in the society that was completely isolated from the Gospel. Since the family was in the military Sasha had to study in the closed school. May be it is hard to believe but for the first time Sasha heard the name of Jesus Christ when he was 15. His uncle shared with him the good news of Jesus. Sasha’s uncle came to know Christ at the end of 80thwhen Gorbachev started to transform the society.
It was amazing for the 15year old teenager to learn that God came to the Earth in the image of Jesus. He did it because of His love to His Father and to people who lived in sin and who were enemies to God. Christ never sinned. But He was crucified because the sin of the whole world was laid on Him. Sasha was captivated by the endless love God had for him. Moreover he was overwhelmed with the fact that Jesus resurrected and ascended to His Father in Heaven. It was fantastic to know that God is living with people today as the Holy Spirit. He knows everything about all the people and He is seeking relationships with them. Sasha has never felt Godthat close to him.
For the next 5 years Sasha was struggling to understand that it is not enough just to believe that Jesus is a Creator of everything living. At the age of 20 Sasha learned from missionaries and servants of the Gospel that it was important to give Him all his life and accept His will. For the first time in his life Sasha learned that he had to accept Christ as his Savior and the Lord of his whole life.
On the 8th of Jan, 1995 Sasha experienced an amazing inner change that comes with Jesus. He realized he had become a new creature and he could not have the old way of life. His friends did not accept his new identity. But he found so many new friends in the local church in Kyiv. Sasha realized that he wanted not only to give his life to Christ but also commit himself to ministry, to the Great Commission and to the Gospel. He wanted to plant new churches at the areas with no churches at all.
In 1997 Sasha was invited to join the team to plant a new church in Kyiv. Atthat time the population of Kyiv was3.500.000. It was incredible. Sasha’sdream came true because he wasable to get actively involved intosharing the Gospel and plantingchurch. After the church was established Sasha began his ministry as a deacon and as a home group leader.
At the same time Sasha became a student of a Pastors’ training center. He wanted to grow in the ministry of preaching and to learn more about practical care for people.
In 1999 two most important events for Sasha took place. He married Olya and also he was invited to plant another church in one of the areas of Kyiv. The population of that area was 60.000 and there were only 2 protestant churches. So Sasha together with his young wife, with his home group and with 3 other brothers from the Pastors’ training center started to work hard on planting a church. Many believers from Ukraine and from America supported this endeavor. This is how Sasha became a founder and a pastor of Almaz church in Kyiv.
In 2008 Sasha and Olya faced great changes in their life. God clearly showed them through the Scripture and through the specific circumstances the need to serve the orphans, especially to the orphans with special needs in Ukraine. The number of these kids was more than 132.000. “Almaz” church and its partners combined their efforts to do the ministry started by Sasha and Olya.
For the period of 2008-2009 Sasha and Olya were able to involve more than 300 people from Ukraine,Belarus, USA and China into the practical ministry. A huge amount of humanitarian aid was sent to the needy. More than 15 facilities in the orphanage were remodeled and repaired. It improved the living conditions for children and working conditions for the personnel. Today Sasha, Olya and their church continuo serving the orphans and constantly looking for support and for people who are willing to join teams for short mission trips into Ukraine.
Today Sasha and Olya have four wonderful children. Their dream is to have an orphanage on the basis of their church family. The need is not only to take care of their physical needs but also provide care for the kids’ hearts and souls. They dream to unite thousands of believers from different countries and cultures in the ministry given by God. They dream that this ministry will help many kids to be adopted into the Lord’s family and to find a family of loving parents in this earth.
Sasha & Olya Skrypak