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Lisa DeGrace

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Lisa has been ministering with ACTION to street youth, orphans, and poor families in the city center of Odessa, Ukraine, since 2006.

Lisa and her team presently use a half basement, 3 room flat in the centre of Odessa as a Ministry Centre, called “Pyt, Istina i Zhizn,” which means, “The Way, The Truth and The Life” in Ukrainian. The Center serves as an office, half-way house for young men attempting to leave addictions or troubled lives, to live stable, independent lives, and a children’s ministry on Sunday evenings, for children that come from non-Christian, poor families in the area, including children of street children Lisa worked with in the past several years. It is the team’s desire to add an afterschool program Monday to Friday for these children, to help with their schoolwork, and are in search of a trained teacher who could assist with this.

The center serves as a safe, inviting place, where many street youth, young street mothers and their children, and homeless graduates of orphanages, know they can come to when they need help, whether it be for medicine and medical bills, groceries, document fees, school supplies, basic clothing needs, spiritual counseling, getting off the street, etc. Having a regular program for them is not possible at present, as some neighbours have complained that the center has too many “undesirables” coming, so help is given to individuals as the need arises.

As well as ministering at the Center, Lisa also get calls to visit street places for emergencies or other needs, and often visits street youth, poor family members, and children she knows from orphanages, who are in hospital. As needs arise, she also takes in street girls, and children of young mothers, for short periods of time to live with her.

Lisa is a member of the Emmanuel Church and serves on the worship team. Emmanuel Church and Exodus Church are where the night staff are currently from.