Pastor Igor – From Prison to Prison Ministry
NOTE: We’ve been sharing insights from Pastor Igor on our Facebook page. Here’s a field report with detail in his own words – his remarkable backstory.
Igor is a student of Moscow Theological Seminary, on the Bachelor program of Counseling.
He was born in an ordinary family, the only child. At age 7, his father died. It was difficult for his mother to raise him by herself. Then at the age of 14, Igor also lost his mother.
The closest relatives did not want to raise Igor. They sent him to an orphanage. Igor’s communication with older children encouraged him to be independent, to fend for himself. He trusted no one. As a result, he began to break the rules and the law. Igor committed his first crime when he was 16. Apprehended, he was sent to a colony (prison).
After his release, he became more self-assured and committed a number of thefts and robberies, which went unpunished for awhile. But then, he was caught again and convicted. So began his “prison odyssey.”
“I was sent to serve a prison term in the Urals and there the most important meeting awaited me – meeting with my Savior. Another prisoner gave me a New Testament. I began to read. I realized that I am a robber and I need forgiveness from God. I can’t expect people to forgive me. After 11 years in prison, I repented and accepted the Lord as my Savior,” Igor said. His life was changed.
Today, Igor works in prison service in the Perm Territory. He has fifty-three prisons under his jurisdiction. One is a life-sentence prison, in which two hundred people were sentenced to life imprisonment. Twenty of them are now brothers. They have come to faith, thanks to the effective evangelism of Igor and his team.
The team is actively conducting programs to assist people in need after being released from places of detention.