Chick-fil-A franchisee speaks at Save a Life banquet

“Life – what a beautiful choice. … In abortion, somebody dies.”

Those were the words of the main speaker at the fourth annual fundraising banquet for Save a Life International, which was held at the Ukrainian Educational and Cultural Center in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania on Saturday, November 2, 2019.

Gene Ontjes, who owns two Chick-fil-A restaurants in Pennsylvania, described how his young mother was pressured to have an abortion. But she decided to give birth, so Mr. Ontjes considers himself an “abortion survivor.” He related an emotional story of how he started out as a foster child and then was adopted. He met his birth mother for the first time when he was 41 years old.

Music at the banquet was provided by singer-songwriters Roberto and Marisella Godoy, who serve as worship leaders at their church in California.

The event recorded its highest attendance and highest donation total, along with new guests, a wonderful program and delicious food. Many volunteers helped to make the evening a big success.

The president of Save a Life Int., Nadia Gordynsky, is a member of Regeneration Church in Levittown, Pennsylvania, which belongs to the Ukrainian Evangelical Baptist Convention in the U.S. Many of the attendees at the banquet are members of Ukrainian Baptist churches.

Mrs. Gordynsky said, “Each time I am amazed at God’s mercy to us. This year there were many guests from local American, Ukrainian and Russian-speaking churches. It was a great combination of several cultures in expressing support for the value of life and the struggle for unborn children, not only in Ukraine but also in our local neighborhoods.”

Besides the guests at the banquet from Pennsylvania, other states represented were New Jersey, Delaware, Illinois, Florida and California.

“The great blessings with the necessary bills have once again confirmed to me that the Lord has His plan for us, and we are ready to obey His will and serve women and their babies ,” Nadia Gordynsky said. She continued, “I thank all the partners who so willingly and generously take part in this important and unique ministry. I believe that in the next year we will see many new miracles, many new babies will be torn out of the hands of death and their mothers will find a new life in Christ Jesus.”

This ministry focuses on Ukraine in helping women in crisis pregnancies, educating young people about the importance of sexual integrity and the consequences of abortion, and sharing the message of the healing power of God’s grace.

A fundraising concert was held in 2015. Now there have been four banquets. In five years, Save a Life has established five Life Centers in Ukraine, one in Poland and one in Philadelphia.


SALI speaker 2019
Gene Ontjes speaks.

Godoy singers
Marisella and Roberto Godoy sing.

SALI banquet 2019 Nadia speaks
Nadia Gordynsky, president of Save a Life, speaks.


SALI speaker3 2019

Donations from a large and generous crowd surpassed the $100,000 fundraising goal for the evening.

SALI prayer card
A prayer card lists contact information for Save a Life International.

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