Steve joined the Athletes In Action Russia team in November, 1991. Steve still works out at the Central Army Sports Club in Moscow each week. Even though he is in his forties, he can still go with many of the top Russian wrestlers in his weight class. Steve has a real heart and burden to share the gospel with unreached peoples in the former Soviet Union using wrestling. He has traveled to many parts of Russia, including Komi, Yakutia, Buratia, Osetia, Dhagestan, and Kalmakia, to share the gospel with those who don't normally have the chance to hear the Good News.
WILLY and the YEMVA FAMILY OF BELIEVERS
(from the book...) "I love how deeply intertwined the lives of the Yemva Believers are. It is more than Sunday mornings, Wednesday nights, and occasional dinner parties. Like people everywhere, the church members have their distinct jobs and homes. Yet they have chosen to allow their lives to be woven together in countless ways, big and small: a mechanic drives over to the center to help Mitya fix his jeep. Mitya walks across town to fix a leak for a widow. ... their life together is not without problems and bickerings, but it's the closest thing to true community we have ever seen. For me, it is a vision of what the church should be, what the church can be."
Eugene was a teenager during Nikita Kruschev's era. Eugene trusted Christ at age 15, by listening to Trans World Radio. That same year he was arrested after a neighbor reported to the KGB that Eugene was listening to Christian radio. They offered him freedom if he would sign a letter they had written condemning the Baptists. He refused and they sent him to jail. They wanted him to serve 10 years, but since he was only a minor, he only served 2 years. In 1990, with new freedom in Russia, Eugene began visiting the same prison where had been an inmate, sharing the gospel with the prisoners. He is now pastor of a church in Serpakov, near Moscow.
Victor served in the Soviet Navy for nearly two decades. He attended the Navel College in 1976 and began his service on the Russian North Fleet. He served for 12 years on submarines. For his last 3 years Victor was a sub commander. His job was to track American subs in the Atlantic Ocean. In 1990 Victor retired from the Navy. He moved to Moscow where he first met American Christians. After much thought and examining the Christian life, he trusted Christ, and then set out to spread the message. Victor works with the Athletes in Action team in Moscow.
Viktor Dudin knows which words to share with prisoners in the camps of northern Russia. For many years he saw these camps from the inside. Immediately following his release, Viktor went to Moscow, and signed up for Bible College. Viktor has a passion for Jesus and he now travels to prisons around Russia -- sharing the love of Christ with those behind bars.