Free Indeed

Meet Valeri and Valentina Seleznev—two of the most amazing, godly people I have ever had the honor to get to know. They are the In Touch Ministries employees selected as the March 2015 Faces of In Touch special feature, and I was blessed to be able to sit down with them to hear their story and to share it with our readers. I knew the rough outline from talking to folks around the ministry, but when the Seleznevs filled in all the blanks, I just sat with my mouth hanging open. Talk about guts!

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Photography by Ben Rollins

Valeri Seleznev is a man you can’t help but look up to—oftentimes because, as the senior maintenance technician at In Touch Ministries, he’s perched atop a ladder, changing a light bulb or repairing HVAC fixtures. But no matter what he’s working on, Valeri never fails to wave or say hello to passersby. His warm smile and openness make it hard to imagine who he was 20 years ago—an official in the Communist party who was labeled as disloyal to the Soviet Union. Eventually, he knew it was no longer safe to stay in his home country. And so he fled to the West with his wife Valentina, unsure of what awaited them in a new land.

A few weeks after the Seleznevs learned they were under suspicion, they boarded a plane in Moscow for a 10-hour flight to New York City. And they were up in the air—both literally and figuratively—every minute of it. Their paperwork had been acquired through back channels, and they weren’t sure if it was even valid. When they landed, the couple would either be allowed to enter the United States or be forced back to the country they loved but had to flee….

To read the full article, head over to In Touch Ministries’ website. And don’t forget to leave a comment there!

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