Ockert and Michele Potgieter
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Michele Potgieter, together with her husband, Ockert, started the church Svet Miru (Light for the World), in Reni, an important working port city in Ukraine, 27 years ago. “After Ockert’s sudden death from Covid during a visit to South Africa, my life was in tatters, but I could not forsake our congregation in Ukraine. ”

Two weeks after Michele arrived back in Ukraine, after losing her husband, the war broke out in Ukraine. From the very first day of the war they started to give food and take care of refugees fleeing to Reni. A year later the volunteers from Light for the World Church are giving lunch to the refugees every day. Helping with clothing, food parcels and in whatever way possible.

A family devoted for 27 years now to see the Kingdom of Jesus Christ
coming in the town called Reni in Ukraine through the church they
planted, in all spheres of society through the establishing of a the
church, a children’s daycare center, a children’s shelter, a pro-life
center for pregnant women and young mothers, numerous community
projects, events and youth summer camps. The doors for the gospel
of Jesus Christ opened in the early nineties and we believe Father loves
the people of Ukraine so much that He called us from a faraway country
and He sent us here, not only to tell them about His love, but to show
them what His love looks like.  The church is the vessel
Father is using to let His Kingdom come in all spheres of society. He
restores lives, relationships and families… but also hospitals and
parks and opportunities.Our response is always: Yes Father, let Your Kingdom come! Let Your will be done!

Let me take you by the hand and lead you through the streets of reni…

The Danube flows like a life-giving vein through the landscape. Reni has a port which used to be the main source of work and income but traffic has slowed down to a trickle.

The street where we live is still a dirt road. Reni has amazing, beautiful sunsets and a charming rustic atmosphere. It is an amazing conglomeration of different cultures with Ukrainian, Russian, Moldovan, Bulgarian, Gagauzian… to name just a few!

People are poor and struggling to survive. Many leave for bigger cities or job opportunities in other European countries. Dads are absent, families broken… children are at the receiving end of the cycle of poverty and addiction.


RADUGA center for children

We take care of 70 little children daily, giving them 3 meals and all the love and comfort they need!

Gateway to life center

Our volunteers work unceasingly to protect every little life, fighting against abortion, assisting young mothers and struggling families.


The Ark is a shelter for children who temporarily cannot live with their family due to a crisis situation at home.


A Christian coffee shop with the best cake in town!


Once a year it is time for THE event for the young people of Reni: a life-changing youth camp called MASADA!

love reni

Love Reni is the 10 days we tackle community projects – and take hands with our mayor and the schools of Reni – to show that love is a verb!

Write to us, pray for us, visit us!

“The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” James 5:16Please pray for our city, our church, our team, for us.

“Light for the world” Christian ChurchReni, Odessa Province, UKRAINE: (+38) 0938126060 Write us if you want  to receive a monthly prayer letter by email. If Holy Spirit leads you to partner with us in any way, please write as well. You can use the link at the bottom of this page for any financial partnering.

The Lord who started the work, will also finish it. He is faithful.