The Maraseks


Joey is an independent photographer and die-hard Texan. He began his missions in September 2012 when he went on the World Race. After returning, he knew he wanted to pursue full-time missions and moved to Thailand six months later. His first year in Southeast Asia was spent volunteering at a nonprofit art gallery, Documentary Arts Asia, and working with boys in the red-light district at Urban Light. His second year was spent working with the hill tribes and Burmese refugees. After Thailand, he attended the Marriage of the Arts YWAM DTS in Nuremberg, Germany. Three months were spent in Germany learning about the nature of God and how to use arts in missions, and the next three months were spent in India, Sri Lanka, and Nepal on outreach. Upon returning to Ukraine, Joey began speaking at various events about his travels and photography, building relationships throughout the city and sharing his experiences with cross-cultural missions. He is currently partnered with different groups, providing photography to ministries working with orphans and gypsies.

Born into an ordinary family in Kiev, Ukraine, she came to know God when she was 17 and knew she wanted to be a missionary. She began working in the church, leading ministries, which in Ukraine can be unusual for a woman, especially a young one. She also started going on trips to village orphanages in Kiev Oblast. For the past four years, Alena has resided in Lviv, the art capital of Ukraine. It is here that she puts on regular art workshops, provides private lessons, and organizes projects such as painting walls in hospitals and orphanages and making art on the streets. Many people know her as a person who likes to organize events and never has a problem rallying up volunteers. She loves art and painting, and one day hopes to have a house for 30 cats. Alena hopes to continue to reach people through art in Lviv, especially the orphans. She continues to build relationships with them through her art and cooking workshops and regular visits to families in need.

Q & A:

What is your favorite dish?

Joey likes egg curry slow cooked with sweet yellow curry and plain yogurt. Alena likes feta cheese with a spoon and salad.

What country do you want to visit the most?

Joey – Afghanistan, North Korea, and Sudan. Alena – Australia and all of Africa.

What is your favorite film?

Joey – Star Wars is the greatest second story ever told, second only to the Bible. Alena – The Terminal, Oh Brother Where Art Thou, and The Pursuit of Happiness.

Who do you admire from the Bible?

Joey – I admire King David as a person who is just as broken as anyone else, but was so righteous that Jesus was called the son of David. Alena – I like Abraham because of his trust in God and his braveness.

Cats or Dogs?

Joey despises felines and Alena wants a house with 30 cats.


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