Located in Ukraine, the Odessa Mission was established in 2003 by John and Iryna Murphy initially for church-planting purposes. In time, however, an apologetics center was born, as were two beautiful children: Stefan and Charleze (i.e. Charley). In 2015, the Murphy family joined forces with two other ministers in the city in order to serve a church they called the Christian Life Center. Finally, in 2017 John and Iryna were instrumental in forming a team that has successfully opened a rehab clinic for those struggling with alcohol dependencies.
John, a preacher's kid and native Long Islander, earned his master's degree in theology from Cincinnati Bible Seminary in 1993 and helped start Christian Life Church in Kharkov, Ukraine the following year. In 1996 he moved to the Crimean Peninsula to begin a pioneer work targeting a Turkish people group known as the Crimean Tatars, most of whom are Muslims. (John's humorous book A Dumb American in a Strange Country chronicles many of his adventures during those years and it's now available for $7.95 plus shipping. Just contact us for more details on how to receive your copy.)
Iryna was born and raised in Crimea and she's an accomplished musician with a master's degree from Odessa's Nezhdanova Music Conservatory. She's both a gifted pianist and opera singer who serves faithfully with CLC's worship ministry.