Our friend, Ira, is a missionary now! (With pictures!)

Please be praying for our friend, Ira Zakharova! She is right now on her way to Stanytsya Luhanska, a city that is literally in the warzone.

You may recognize the word “Luhansk” from the news. That is the capitol city of one of the Russian-backed, puppet “republics” that are rebelling against Ukraine. She won’t be there. Stanytsya Luhanska is in the Luhansk region, not the city. It’s about 20km from Luhansk itself.

Ira will be serving there with Sasha Andriyashyna, a name that anyone who’s been in Ukraine for some time with Calvary Chapel should remember. She is one of our favorite translators at the big conference in May. Here is a picture of us with Sasha:


Sasha has been serving as a military chaplain in Stanytsya for some time. Ira will be in Stanytsya with her for at least until the summer and will be working with Youth For Christ to serve the teenagers there.


Ira is a long-time, good friend of ours. She and David served for a couple of years together at New Horizons. This picture above is from a VBS at the church with David (in the cowboy hat with the guitar), Katya to the right in the red bandana, and Ira to the right of her in the purple bandana. She is one of our most trusted friends, and it’s going to be hard not being able to see each other every once in a while in Lviv.

Ira felt the call to serve people in the warzone at the very beginning of the War with Russia in 2014. When they shelled civilian areas in Mariupol, a city in the south-eastern part of Ukraine, she went there on a missions trip to serve the people in the aftermath. Since then, she has had many opportunities to travel there on short term trips, and God has slowly confirmed His calling for her, especially over the past few months, to go and live there now.

Ira is what we would call a high-caliber missionary. She serves with excellence, works hard, and is motivated to get things done. She loves the Lord and honestly tries to serve Him the best she can.

So, please pray for Ira! For safety, for ministry opportunities, for culture shock (living in the East, especially in a war zone, is very different from living in Lviv), and for her to be able to show the love and light of Jesus Christ there. Please also pray for opportunities for us to come and serve her and support her in Stanytsya Luhanska.

If you would like to support Ira financially, please click on the contact us link above to send us an email, and we will work something out.

Here are some more pictures of memories and projects with Ira that we have done over the years.


David and Ira were on a ministry team together in 2010 to serve in North-Central Ukraine. We still talk about that trip sometimes.


Ministry teams from different churches hanging out at Michael Pratt’s house in 2011.


On one Sunday, when David didn’t have a backup vocalist at church, Ira filled in… this was probably the one and only time she’s sung in a worship team… right Ira? 🙂


We (David and Katya) put together a retreat for the youth and young-career-aged at New Horizons in 2013, and Ira was there.


Serving on a missions trip at an orphanage in 2014.

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This is a conference that Ira and David had a big part in organizing for the Calvary Chapel churches in Western Ukraine in 2014.


Hanging out at the big Calvary Chapel conference in Kyiv in May, 2015.


Traveling to the Carpathian Mountains together one last time before she moved to Stanytsya Luhanska this year.

Ira, we love you, will miss you, and hope that you will be able to visit us (and that we could visit you) someday soon!


The Team #2: Director of Photography

In today’s post, I want to feature the DP (Director of Photography) of our current video project. His name is Elijah Leschenko (and you can find his YouTube channel here). Elijah and I have been acquaintances for a while, but we really became better friends when He and I worked together on “Ніч на Івана Купала”, our first video project. Here’s a picture from that shoot:

Elijah (left) and David (center) working together on “Ніч на Івана Купала”

I asked Elijah to answer four questions in preparation for this blog post: 1. How would you describe your craft, your art? 2. How did you come to the Lord? 3. Why are you excited to be a part of this project? and 4. How can we pray for you?

The rest of this blog post was written by Elijah (and translated into English by me). Enjoy!

How would you describe your craft, your art?

To date, there is no more convenient way to perceive information than video. Not everyone likes to read, but most would agree that it’s more pleasant to read something with pictures. It’s even better, if there are high-quality and beautiful pictures; then, you cannot tear your eyes off of the page.

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Elijah Leschenko’s YouTube Channel

These days, everyone is trying to save time, and, especially in the world’s metropolises, one of the most popular things to do during free time is social media or watching videos on YouTube. This is exactly where we can reach a lot of people. In addition to that, video is quite an interesting industry. Just by changing the music, light, or a single camera angle, you can completely change the emotions that are experienced by the viewer.

This creates a magnet that draws in the viewer and gives us an opportunity to convey important information to him… And this is what we want to do!

How did you come to the Lord?

My parents repented a couple of months after I was born. Because I grew up in a believing family. I repented at the age of 13 at the Calvary Chapel Ukraine Conference. Before that, I also believed in God and served him, but, in that moment at the conference, I prayed to Him and decided to follow him all my life!

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The Calvary Chapel Ukraine Conference in Kyiv, 2016

From that day on, He has guided me through difficulties and joys and continues His work in my life.

Why are you excited to be a part of this project?

I have always wanted to participate in something big and at least spend some time on something that inspires me. I like to communicate with creative people, and I love learning new things. I also always especially wanted to participate in a project that is just beginning, developing everything from scratch, and, Lord willing, to create something meaningful that will serve for many, many people.

How can we pray for you?

  1. That we would be lead by the Holy Spirit, so that all that we do will remain in the minds of people, spreading widely into the masses and changing hearts.
  2. That God would provide the necessary equipment (cameras, microphones, lighting, etc.). Personally, I’m a perfectionist, and I’m not afraid of this word. As a creative, I’m very demanding on the quality of content that I watch. I can not take anything seriously that looks like it was shot by an amateur. In that same way, I also would like to provide content of excellent quality, so that it will serve very demanding people. 🙂
  3. For God’s special work in the hearts of the whole team through this project.

The Team #1: My wife, Katya

Hey, there, everyone! Over the near future, I (David) want to introduce you guys to the current members of our team for creating “My Rest”, the shortfilm we are producing over the summer. I made a vlog this week to kick it off, and there will be a link to it at the end of this post. It’s called, “How is filmmaking like making a burrito?”

My wife: Katya Snead

13567129_1461027393911290_545214878200125416_nThe first member of my team that I want to introduce you to is my wife and the love of my life, Katya. Without her, this ministry of filmmaking wouldn’t really be possible, because I wouldn’t have a window into the deeper, more intricate aspects of Ukrainian culture, which can’t really be explained without experiencing them.

With her and her family, I can literally see how a Ukrainian lives and thinks every day. We normally speak a mixture of Ukrainian and English at home, but it’s predominantly Ukrainian. This gives me constant practice in not only using Ukrainian, but also understanding jokes and metaphors that fill the language.

Katya is an amateur art photographer, and you can see examples of her work below:


Click here if you would like to follow Katya’s Instagram page.

As you can see, the shots she takes are beautiful, and she has a unique way of framing an image. Whereas, visually, I am more of a straightforward, low-camera-movement, strap-it-down-to-a-tripod kind of filmmaker, Katya is more subtly poetic in her approach to images. I think my “poetic spirit” is more in the story itself or the dialogue, while her poetry is in the visuals that represent the story.

All of that to say, we need each other to be a good team. Once I have the first draft of the storyboard done, I am going to go over it with her and Elijah, my director of photography (you’ll read more about him later), to get their thoughts on the meaning of each shot.

Katya and I met in God’s Love, a church on the south side of Lviv. This was only a few months after I moved to Ukraine, and I didn’t speak much Ukrainian yet. She was one of the few people that spoke any English there, and she translated for me sometimes. This eventually turned into a friendship, which was augmented by a working relationship (she would translate webpages or fliers for me, which I, in turn, would design and publish).

In the end, we couldn’t stay friends, so we got married. 🙂

Life has been a big adventure since then, but God has seen us through it all. We both have a passion for missions, the church, evangelism, art, and travel. I’m excited for where God will take us in the future.

Things to pray for:

  • Her ministry with the young women in our church.
  • Her health: Katya has problems with her thyroid that affect her energy levels.
  • The ability to rest, even with a lot of stressful situations lately.

VLOG #0008 – How is filmmaking like making a burrito?

Chocolate Fondant Recipe (Chocolate Lava Cake)

Katya and the women’s ministry made chocolate fondant (chocolate lava cake) at the last women’s ministry meeting. The recipe is from Oksana Yaschuk, one of our very close friends, who is going to be David’s First Assistant Director with the film we are producing over the summer.


  • 100g of your favorite, fine, dark-chocolate bar (NOT baking chocolate)
  • 2 eggs
  • 50g of butter
  • 30g of flour
  • 40g of sugar
  • Powdered sugar
  • Vanilla ice cream

Start with a large pot and a smaller pot. Put the large pot on the stove with about 3 inches of water in it. Then, put the butter and chocolate into the smaller pot, and put the smaller pot into the bigger post. Turn on the heat and melt the chocolate and butter together in this way.

Pre-heat the oven to 410F.

Beat the eggs and sugar together, and then add the flour and chocolate mixture. Mix that together.

Pre-grease a cup-cake pan with butter and sprinkle some flour on it. Pour the entire mixture into the cup-cake pan.

Bake the fondants at 410F (210C) for 7 minutes.

Take them out and let them rest for 5 minutes. Sprinkle powdered sugar over the top and serve with a scoop of ice cream. Goes great with women’s Bible studies! Bon appetit!

This will probably be my longest VLOG…

This will probably be my longest VLOG.

You can contact me at this link: https://davidandkatya.com/contact-us/

If you’re interested in making a shortfilm, this is an abbreviated, 15-minute, step-by-step “to do” list for you to go through from pre all the way to post! Go and be creative!

So, do you want to make a shortfilm? I’m, by no means, an expert; however, this is how I do it. It may give you a basic outline on what you need to do to get started. Making a shortfilm is a LONG and DETAILED process, so this abbreviated explanation is a very long video.

Below are the ten steps that I briefly talk about.

1. The idea
2. The script

A book that can help with these two steps: Master of The Cinematic Universe: The Secret Code to Writing In The New World of Media
3. Storyboard
4. Budgeting
5. Casting
6. Schedule and Location
7. Sound (Oh the irony!!!)
8. Shooting

A book that can help with shooting: Film Directing Shot by Shot: Visualizing from Concept to Screen (Michael Wiese Productions)

9. Editing
10. Coloring

The book links above are affiliate links, and a portion of the sales price goes towards supporting our family and ministry.

Some footage taken from “Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones” (fair use, education).

Image credits:
“Bamboo book – closed – UCR” by vlasta2, bluefootedbooby on flickr.com – http://flickr.com/photos/bluefootedbooby/370457835/, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1616393

Enchoen27n3200 by 663highland – Own work, CC BY 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4876792

VLOG #0003 – How do I raise support as a missionary?

This is NOT a how-to video. It’s just a day in the life of David. 🙂

I was talking to a friend before I started this process, and he recommended a book to me called “The God Ask.” It’s really helped me to understand my calling as a support-team raiser, encouraged me, and challenged me to do all that I can to have what Katya and I need to be fully effective as missionaries. Here’s a link to it:

The God Ask: A Fresh, Biblical Approach to Personal Support Raising

This is an affiliate link, and a portion of the sales price goes towards supporting our family and ministry. 🙂

If you would like to support us, you can click the links below to find out more about us:
Our vision – https://davidandkatya.com/vision/
Online giving – https://davidandkatya.com/support-information/

We are sent out by Horizon Indianapolis, a church in Indiana, and that is where all of our donations go. We get 100% of everything donated towards our ministry – Horizon doesn’t keep any of it.

Please pray for us. If you are going through this journey and would like for us to pray for you, please send us an e-mail here:


We’re producing a film called “My Rest”. Check it out here: