Former Soviet Union Staff

Young Life leaders are crucial for carrying out the ministry. Follow the links below to learn more and support a country ministry or a staff member in that country.​

​​​​If you wish to support ministry in Armenia, please click here.
If you wish to support a specific staff person, please locate the person below and click Read more.

Ani Brutyan

Ani was first introduced to Young Life in 2006 while living in the same apartment building as Arman and L​ilit, Regional Directors in Armenia. Through their friendship Ani began attending Young Life and accepted Jesus at camp.
Aram Gevorgyan

Aram had already been a Young Life club kid for five years when a personal visit by his leader led him to open his heart to Jesus and make a commitment. Now Aram is part of a team of leaders in a new area of Yerevan called Shengavit.
Aram Meliqyan

Aram became a believer after attending his first Young Life camp when he was 19. Local leaders befriended and helped disciple his passion to follow Jesus.
Arman Asatryan

Arman grew up during a very difficult time in Armenia's history. The dissolution of the Soviet Union led to a dark and cold time in his country, and he felt little hope.
Armine Shahgaldyan

Armine remembers her early days as a college student in art school to be filled with darkness and surrounded by bad friends. Miraculously, Armine attended a Young Life club and felt the love and care of friends for the first time. Through a message at club, Armine felt her heart break open as she accepted Jesus as her savior.
Arsen Harutyunyan

Arsen came to know Jesus at a Young Life camp in 2006. As he grew in his faith he also grew in his desire to join the ministry of Young Life.
Arsen Sargsyan

Arsen grew up going to church, but it wasn’t until he was attending the Yerevan University and asking questions about his faith that he personally got to know God. He joined the Young Life staff in 2015.
Arshak Mnatskanyan

As a teenager, Arshak had his first encounter with Young Life through an invitation to go to camp. After camp, he continued attending club for a short time enjoying the fun and time with friends, but did not want to pursue God.
Arusyak Khanamiryan

Arusyak, along with her brother, were invited in 2000 to attend the very first Young Life camp in Armenia. It was here that she experienced, not only the life-changing love of Jesus, but was embraced by a real family to walk back home into life with as well.
Georg Ayvazyan

Georg was invited to a Young Life camp by a friend in 2009 and after hearing about Jesus, he opened his heart to Him. Soon Georg was looking for a way to serve when someone mentioned that his town of Vanadzor needed a Young Life club.
Hasmik Margaryan

Hasmik first began to open her heart to the grace of God after a week as a camper at Young Life camp. The faithful presence of Hasmik’s leader, walking with her, sharing about God and reading the Bible together, equipped Hasmik to grow in her faith and eventually become a Young Life leader in her community.
Lilit Asatryan

With the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Lilit felt her life was turned upside down. She was looking for something to depend on when she heard about Jesus.
Narek Arshakyan

After concluding his service in the Armenian army, Narek was presented the opportunity to attend a Young Life tent camp. The message he heard changed his life forever, compelling him to discover more about the love of Jesus.
Narek Ayvazyan

Narek was first drawn to Young Life because of the friendships he developed. He met Jesus as his friend in 2009.
Narine Manucharyan

Narine remembers feeling like she had every reason to be happy as a child, but still an emptiness persisted. It wasn’t until she met Jesus through Young Life that she felt loved and complete.
Sergey Sargsyan

In 2009 Sergey was invited to a Young Life winter camp. He liked how kind the leaders were to him and the interesting things that were discussed.
Tereza Brutyan

Tereza grew up going to church with her grandmother. She remembers fondly the Bible stories she would hear.
Vahag Asatryan

Vahag lives in Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, which borders Turkey and Iran. Vahag lives with his sister since his father passed away when he was in high school and his mother moved to Russia to work as a cook. Vahag first heard about Jesus through his sister’s experience at Young Life camp.
If you wish to support ministry in Georgia, please click here​.
If you wish to support a specific staff person, please locate the person below and click Read more.
Rustam Mailov

Rustam is the area director for Young Life in Georgia, a country just south of Russia and north of Armenia. Rustam was born in Tarkmenistan but moved to Georgia with his mom when his dad left them for another family.
Verjina Stolyarenko

In 2012, Verjina encountered Jesus in a brand new, personal way through Young Life in Armenia. This experience led her into deep personal repentance, new found fellowship with Jesus, and a passion to reach the lost with His love.
If you wish to support ministry in Kazakhstan, please click here.
If you wish to support the Capernaum ministry in Central Asia, please consider giving a one-time gift or a recurring gift.
Due to persecution in this area of the world, we do not list our staff. Please contact the Former Soviet Union Divisional Office for further information.

If you wish to support ministry in Kyrgzstan, please click here.
Due to persecution in this area of the world, we do not list our staff. Please contact the Former Soviet Union Divisional Office for further information.

​​​​If you wish to support ministry in Latvia, please clic​k here​.
If you wish to support a specific staff person, please locate the person below and click Read more.
Olya Kuriats

Olya Kuriats grew up going to church and began a personal relationship with Jesus after attending Young Life clubs and camps. After high school, Olya dedicated herself to God's plan for her life.
Alyona Mulyar

Alyona was born in Chernovtsy, Ukraine, raised in a Christian home and learned about God’s love for her at a young age. Life was good, but Alyona was one of 10 kids in her family and things were not easy financially.
Natalie Nitsoryan

While attending a Bible school in Ukraine, Natalie Nitsoryan had a great sense that God must have a plan for her to use all that she was learning. When a Young Life leader from Latvia visited her church and talked about the great blessings and opportunities to reach lost and neglected kids in her country, Natalie knew that was her invitation.
If you wish to support ministry in Moldova, please click here.
If you wish to support a specific staff person, please locate the person below and click Read more.

Diana Vetrogonova

The first fifteen years of Diana’s life were a nightmare; mother overcome by alcoholism, no known father, two desperate attempts on her own life and seemingly no future. God intervened and placed her in a family of pastors who showed her the life-changing love of Jesus.
Fiodor (Ted) Siceak

Fiodor (Ted) Siceak was born in Chisinau, Moldova, to a hard-working family. In high school, Ted played handball for the national team of Moldova, and he thought this sport would be his future.
Lena Siceak

Lena was 18 years old and tired of living a lie. She wanted something that would help her so that her heart would no longer feel condemned for lying.
Natalia Pascal

Natalia came to know Jesus while attending Young Life in Ukraine as a teenager. She naturally grew into a leadership role there and joined the Developing Global Leaders (DGL) program in 2010.
Oleg Turcan

Oleg grew up attending church with his mom and when he was 12, he accepted Jesus. In 2015, as a 28-​year-old serving in his church, Oleg was introduced to Young Life and was drawn to the special way the ministry reached teenagers.
Sergei Romanyuk

As a teenager, Sergei wrestled with the issue of death and feared the unknown. Those worries went with him as he joined the army, got married and began raising his family.
If you wish to support ministry in Russia, please click here.
If you wish to support a specific staff person, please locate the person below and click Read more.

Aleksey Romanenko

Aleksey grew up in Chelyabinsk, Russia, and spent his teen years pursuing his passion for breakdancing, competing in dance competitions across Russia and the Former Soviet Union. In 2008, a teammate accepted Christ and invited him to Young Life camp.
Andrey Taran

Though Andrey was raised in a non-Christian family, he remembers his mom praying for him before a surgery for kidney failure. God answered her prayers, but the family remained atheists.
Artur and family - Abkhazia.jpg
Artur Cholakyan

Impacted by the Gospel, Artur became a Christ follower through involvement in a bible study in 2008. He quickly became involved in serving in his church youth group and was introduced to the ministry of Young Life as he sought to more effectively reach the youth in his church.
Dasha Lapuka

Dasha was a university student when her younger brother invited her to a Young Life club. She was immediately attracted to the leaders in ministry.
Evgeny Pisarev

When Evgeny was 12, his brother invited him to join a wrestling group of Christian young men. It was the beginning of great friendships as he joined them at Young Life club and camp.
Irina Arzumanova

Yasea grew up in Krasnodar, Russia and as a teen had her first encounter with Christian friends upon joining an English club. This club, hosted by missionaries, is where Yasea first heard the Gospel.
Liza Moskalkova

Liza came to know the Lord when she was 16 and was invited to a Young Life camp. She was grateful to be surrounded by loving relationships when her father passed away shortly after camp.
Mansur Razzakov

Mansur grew up in a Muslim family in Nukus, Uzbekistan. Invited to Young Life camp, Mansur heard about Jesus Christ for the first time, however, upon his return home, he was hesitant to speak of his experience at camp with his family and found that he had many questions about faith in Jesus.
Marina Melnikova

Marina grew up in Christian home. From the time she was little, she went to Sunday school and learned about God. Marina accepted Christ at a teenage camp, and vividly remembers the feeling that from now on, God had her life and was going to use it for His glory.
Nastya Grinevay

Nastya’s first encounter with Young Life was when she was invited to club by a friend. Immediately, Nastya knew there was something unique about the leaders and was drawn to their loving-kindness and willingness to help. Soon after, at week of Young Life camp, Nastya heard the Gospel for the first time.
Oleg Boev

Oleg was raised by a Christian family in Lipetsk, Russia, but when he was 16, he grew disappointed in God and left his family to live on his own. A Young Life leader visiting from Ukraine to start Young Life in Lipetsk, invited Oleg to live with him.
Sergei Petrenko

Sergei was a lonely teenager, but that all changed when he joined a wrestling team and made friends who invited him to Young Life club. Sergei found himself drawn to the activities at Young Life and when he was told about Jesus and how He was the one who could change lives, Sergei knew he wanted Jesus in his life.
Sergey Zhdanov

Sergey was born in Uzbekistan and raised by a single mom. He never knew his father, nor did he know God.
Sukhrab Svietonosov

Because of his drug use, Sukhrab was imprisoned at the age of 15, and he thought his life was ruined. But in 2007, Sukhrab found himself in a Christian rehabilitation center and met Jesus.
Svetlana Mozias

Svetlana was raised in a loving home as her dad served in the USSR army in Lithuania. When Lithuania separated from the Soviet Union, Svetlana’s family returned to their hometown, Krasnodar.
Vasiliy Afonin

Though Vasily grew up in a non-Christian home, at the age of thirteen he heard about the love of Jesus through an extended family member and accepted Jesus as his Savior. Later, he was introduced to Young Life through camp and his pastor.
Zhenya Pustoshkina

Zhenya grew up as an only child in a loving home with wonderful parents who did not speak about God. She attended a camp when she was 15 — it happened to be the first Young Life camp ever held in Russia.
If you wish to support ministry in Ukraine, please click here.
If you wish to support a specific staff person, please locate the person below and click Read more.
Iryna Utkina

Iryna grew up in a home with an alcoholic father and then an abusive step-father and came to the conclusion that she would be better off never having a family of her own. She avoided being home as much as possible and spent her time on the streets with friends, feeling hopeless.
Natasha Tsurkan

Natasha remembers being invited to Young Life club many times before finally saying yes to attending a Young Life summer camp in 2001. Camp was an amazing experience for Natasha, and it was there she first encountered Jesus as a friend, not a strict and distant God.
Oleg Kravetsky

When Oleg was about eight years old, his family began to attend church and came to know God. Though his dad was instrumental in leading the family to church, his alcoholism eventually broke the family apart.
Olga Martsenyuk

Olga was led to God as a teenager through the example of her mother. She became involved with Young Life in 1995 and has served in many roles.
Pavel Soloshenko

Pavel grew up in a Christian family, but as a teen, he hung out with kids on the street who taught him to drink and smoke. When Pavel became ill, his pastor prayed for him.
Pavel Yuryk

Pavel attended church as a child with his family, but it wasn’t until he was 15 helping with a class that he really understood the Bible with answers for his life. He says his knowledge of God turned into a faith in Jesus.
Sasha Golovata

Sasha grew up hearing about God, but not knowing Him. When she was 12, she was offered a camp scholarship and attended summer camps for many years; at one of those camps Sasha accepted Christ into her heart.
Sasha Gusakov

Sasha remembers a difficult childhood — he was bullied at school and had an alcoholic father at home. In college, he had a friend who connected him to Young Life, and his life was never the same.
Sasha Utkin

Sasha was born into an unbelieving family and his mother raised him on her own. He went to his first Ukrainian Young Life camp in 1994 when he was 18 years old. Sasha accepted Christ into his heart a few months after going to camp.
Sasha Yevdoshchak

Invited to club by friends, Sasha found himself drawn to the people he met in Young Life. That summer at Young Life camp, Sasha heard the most important message of his life, the message of Jesus Christ.
Sergey Shevchenko

Sergey first experienced Young Life when he was invited to club by a classmate. This life-changing invitation was the first time Sergey had ever heard about God.
Tanya Nasedkina

When Tanya was four years old, her parents were killed in a car accident. Her aunt and uncle raised her and her sister, but she always missed having her parent’s love and questioned why God would allow such tragedy.
Vadim Isopesku

As a child, Vadim attended church with his believing grandmother. He was aware of God’s work in his heart at an early age, and at 11 years old, he decided to follow Jesus.
Volodimir Grigorchuk

Volodimir grew up knowing about Jesus and attended Young Life clubs as a young teen. However, as he grew older, he decided to forget about God and his church friends and began drinking with the "cool" crowd of kids.
Volodimir Lazarev

Volodimir came to know the Lord reading through the Bible, and he accepted Jesus as Savior in 1999. Since then he has become involved with Young Life leading Capernaum, WyldLife, YoungLives, and Young Life College.
Yana Sirkova

Yana was born into a typical family where her dad was a tractor driver and her mom a cook. Her childhood was carefree and happy. Sometimes she visited church with her grandmother and she prayed to God when her dad began drinking alcohol.
Yura Biroz

In the process of organizing a new church, we were engaged with children on the street. After 2 years, we needed to understand what to do with the children further. In 2015, my team and I went to the "Welcome to YL" event.
If you wish to support ministry in Uzbekistan, please click here.
Due to persecution in this area of the world, we do not list our staff. Please contact the Former Soviet Union Divisional Office for further information.

Young Life Former Soviet Union Div | 420 N Cascade Ave Colorado Springs, CO 80903-3325

Phone: (719) 381-1774

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