Before working in Ukraine, George and Maria made numerous short-term mission trips to Mexico serving in Matamoros and Aldama. For ten years, they made annual trips for the Big Feed that is held every December 29th bringing with them 500 “shoe boxes” filled with school items, and small toys for the children. In addition, they supplied sewing machines, bikes, and other items. Other trips were made to teach the ladies to sew so that they have a means of providing for their families, as part of a medical team, and as a construction crew helping build homes.

In 2001, George and Maria felt a tugging in their heart towards Ukraine. Together with Rabbi Walter Leiber, they made a two week trip to Odessa, Ukraine where they made connection with Rabbi David and Leslye Schneier and their congregation Gates of Zion. Since then, George and Maria have made five trips to Odessa where they have ministered to Holocaust survivors, and in several orphanages in the Odessa region.

Six years ago, they brought along with them an embroidery sewing machine. The machine was donated to the congregation with the idea that items can be made to sell that will help individual families with an added income, and the congregation can then be also blessed with additional tithes.

The pictures on this page are from our most recent trip in April. It was both a privilege and a honor to have been in Odessa

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