Locations | Ukraine | Odessa


Leonid Vasserman

Branch Leader

Leonid is the leader of the Odessa branch of Jews for Jesus and a member of the CIS Jews for Jesus Committee. He received Y'shua as his Lord and Savior in 1995 through the witnessing of his wife Olga. In December 1995, he first met with Jews for Jesus and began to help them as a volunteer. And in November 1996, he joined the staff of Jews for Jesus as an outreach worker. Before leading the Odessa branch, Leonid has also led the ministry of Jews for Jesus in Kharkov. Leonid has organized dozens of outreaches and campaigns of Jews for Jesus in different countries: Ukraine, Russia, Uzbekistan, and Moldova. In 2006, he is leading the Russian outreach in the New York Behold Your God campaign.

Igor Barbanel

Missionary Director

Shalom, my name is Igor, and I'm glad you wanted to get to know who I am and what I do. I was born and raised in a family of Jewish atheists in Odessa, Ukraine. I didn't believe in God although I realized that a Creator made me and gave me my mind. I lived for a little more than 30 years and understood that my life was senseless and joyless. It prompted me to learn more about God. I came to faith in Jesus through the Jews for Jesus ministry and accepted Him as the promised Messiah of Israel in the beginning of January 1995. I have two adult daughters. My elder daughter is married and has a son. Olga and her husband Sergey are believers. Olga serves as a part-time missionary in the Odessa branch. She plays the piano and leads worship for Sabbath meetings. I now bring this B'Sorah Tova, this Good News, to Jews and Gentiles, telling them that Y'shua haMashiach died for the sins of all people and rose again from the dead. I received forgiveness of sins, found the meaning of life, hope, real joy, internal moral satisfaction, and the best gift of all; eternal life with my God. I finished the Jews for Jesus' School of Messengers. I attend the Central Baptist Church in Odessa where I've been baptized. Since 1995, I had served as a volunteer of Jews for Jesus for two years. I took part in many evangelistic projects in the Crimea, Dnepropetrovsk, Kharkov, Kiev, Moscow. I also served as a full time missionary of Jews for Jesus in Odessa in 1997-1999. Then my family and I moved to Dnepropetrovsk to establish a branch there. My wife Galina and I served there for two years. Then I was appointed leader of the Moscow branch and we moved to Moscow in the end of October 2000. There I served for three years. During that time I led several evangelistic campaigns in Moscow and St. Petersburg. In 2003, my family and I came back to my home city of Odessa in Ukraine. In 2004-2005, I prepared and conducted a large outreach in Budapest, which was part of the BYG project. The Lord really blessed the outreach in Budapest and sent us a lot of people who were interested in knowing more about Jesus. Since 2007, I've been serving as deputy director of Jews for Jesus in Russia and Ukraine. Pray please that the Lord would give me strength, desire and boldness to share the Gospel with lost and unsaved people.

Galina Bogomolova

Outreach Worker

I came from a Jewish family that for generations lived in Ukraine's Black Sea port, Odessa. By the age of 30, my life had become joyless and grey, even though I lived in a sunny and beautiful city. Why? Because I lived without God. In 1995, my husband Igor and I received Jesus as the Messiah of our Jewish people through the ministry of Jews for Jesus. We joined the First Baptist Church of Odessa and the staff of Jews for Jesus. For about three years, our family served in Odessa, then we moved to Dnepropetrovsk to open a branch of Jews for Jesus there. Two years later, we moved to serve in Moscow for three more years: Igor as the branch leader and I as an outreach worker. Today, we again bring the Good News of Jesus to our Jewish people in Odessa. We have two adult daughters; our older daughter Olga is married. She and her husband Sergey attend the same church as I do. And our younger daughter Susanna is 20. She attends the First Baptist Church of Odessa. In 2004, my mother Rachel also received Jesus and was baptized at a Messianic congregation. I thank and praise the Lord that He in His love found me and my family, forgave our sins, gave us faith, salvation and the privilege of serving Him and the people of Israel. He kept His promise, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house" (Acts 16:31). I also thank and praise God for all believers, for my precious brothers and sisters, whose prayers and support help me carry the Good News to our people. Please pray that the Lord would continue to lead me by His Holy Spirit to share the gospel tirelessly with those who aren't saved yet, in every place and at any time.

Gena Gelman

Outreach Worker

In 1996, when I got a new job as a salesman, I met a young couple that worked next to me, Yury and Natasha. Once, I learned that they never work on Sundays. I got very surprised at this because in sales one could earn a lot of money on a weekend. I asked them some questions, and Natasha began to tell me about Jesus. In about six months, they invited me to attend a church service with them. To be completely honest, I did not really like it in church. But when I looked at my new friends, I could not help noticing how everything seems to work out for them and how happy they are. Seven or eight months later, I reconciled with God and invited Jesus into my life. This happened in 1996. Soon, Yura was invited to join the Jews for Jesus ministry as an administrator, and he invited me to take part in the ministry as well. Periodically, I took part in outreaches of Jews for Jesus. Some more missionaries of Jews for Jesus were part of my church and shared a lot about this ministry with us. So, you could say that I grew up spiritually with Jews for Jesus. In 2003, leader of the Odessa branch invited me to participate in the Behold Your God campaign in Odessa, Ukraine. I agreed. For a month, we all went out to the streets of Odessa, gave out tracts and shared the gospel message with people. After this campaign, I felt a fire in my heart towards the Jews for Jesus ministry. So, in March 2004, I joined Jews for Jesus in Odessa as an outreach worker. I have a wonderful wife named Lina and two sons Alexander & Mark.