Tragedy hits UM mission trip

The Texas Conference and General Board of Global Ministries are reporting a tragic turn of events with a mission trip in Ukraine.

David Nevotti, a member of First UMC, Sugar Land, Texas, and Illya Onoprienko, a member of the student ministry of the University of L’viv, have died from injuries sustained in a Tuesday (7/10) morning roof collapse of a church facility.

The Rev. David Goran, a UM missionary serving in L’viv as a student ministry director, was seriously injured. He’s to be moved to a hospital in Kiev.

First UMC Sugar Land and Lakewood UMC in Houston had sent volunteers to Ukraine to repair the church facility.  

David Nevotti’s wife, Cathy, is part of the team, but apparently was not injured. The Texas Conference and GBGM said Mr. Nevotti’s three children had been notified by the Sugar Land church of his death.

Bishop Janice Riggle Huie of the Texas Conference and Thomas Kemper, top executive of GBGM, issued the following statement:

“It is with deep sorrow that we share this tragedy. We, of course, mourn this loss of one member of our church family, but also the loss of the young man from Ukraine, who was our partner in mission. May God be with his family and the Nevotti family to surround them with love. We also pray for healing for our missionary, Rev. Goran, and for all those who are suffering as a result of this tragedy, including the communities at the University of L’viv and FUMC, Sugar Land, and Lakewood UMC.”

Cathy and David Nevotti



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Pam just happened to run into this. We are so sorry. It is unbelievable. We have not seen either you or David since we graduated, but have thought about you over the years. Our hearts go out to you at this time. I find it heartbreaking that you were involved with such an important mission when it happened. I have fond memories of David and I doing the butterfly. He was a good person. Please take care.

Tom and Pam Clanton

Cathy, you do not know me, but i am a friend of David. He and i went to high school together, and shared many good times and laughs throughout the years. NO ONE can understand what you are going through right now no matter what they say. Each, and every situation, is different. I just want you to know that he was a great friend and person to me, and considering the life he chose, i can now see why. He was just a great human being and cared for everyone he came in contact with, regardless, of who they… Read more »

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