This saga is a story about God. It is the account of God's unshakable faithfulness to those who suffer. It is the legend of how God hones and shapes each of His children into the image of His dearly beloved Son. It is a chronicle of grace.
Joni Eareckson Tada, Joni and FriendsAbout Author
“As a documentary filmmaker, I have come across hundreds of interesting stories over the years. Very few have moved me like the epic and inspiring journey of Vanya Iliyn. I find it fascinating that, amidst the momentous events of World War II, God could be so taken up with the cause of a skinny orphan boy in China. But that is who He is.”
George Otis, Jr., president, The Sentinel Group
"This book comes out of a great heritage, with exciting stories of faith that will build your faith and inspire your work for God."
Loren Cunningham, founder, Youth With A Mission
"In giving voice to his father's first hand account, Peter [Iliyn] reminds us of the suffering endured by many of God's people; inspires us to emulate the perseverance, courage, and faith of his father; and helps us to see the greatness of God in ways that make our own challenges seem small."
Mike Treener, international president, The Navigators
Peter John Iliyn was born in Paraguay, South America as the oldest son of John & Sofia Iliyn in 1954 and was raised in San Francisco, CA. He earned his B.S. in Electrical Engineering and Material Science at the University of California, Berkeley.Peters parents came from Russia and raised him to speak the Russian language. He is fluent in Russian, having studied Russian grammar and literature for nine years in a church sponsored school.
He joined Youth With A Mission in the fall of 1976, serving at the Los Angeles base. One of his first assignments was to help start the first Slavic Training School in YWAM. For the next two years, he helped train scores of missionaries to serve in Russia and Eastern Europe. In 1978, Peter became the leader of this school and moved it up to Salem, Oregon YWAM base. During the summer of 1980, he lead a large group of missionaries into Russia where they did evangelism before and after the Olympic Games.
Peter married Luba in November, 1980 and they became the Salem YWAM base leaders in 1982. Having a very strong call to Russia and the Slavic world, Peter and Luba traveled as missionary evangelists and teachers throughout Russia and Eastern Europe during the next years. As of today, they have traveled to over 80 countries of the world.
In 1994, Peter became the North American Director for Youth With A Mission. He has spoken in both large and small churches around the world. Both Peter and Luba teach extensively in many University of the Nations courses around the world. Peter also represents YWAM in a variety of international gatherings. For the past 15 years, he has been the YWAM rep at the annual meeting of Mission CEOs. Thirty CEOs of the largest protestant missionary organizations meet yearly for a time of fellowship and strategizing for world evangelization. Peter & Luba have formed wonderful friendships and working relationships with each of these CEOs and their spouses.
Peter & Luba live in Jefferson, Oregon and have four grown children. Their oldest, Lana Marie, graduated from Asbury College with a degree in Public Relations and is married to Chris McCoy. She has traveled to over 40 countries of the world and has a passion to work in the justice area dealing with AIDs and the trafficking of girls around the world. Daniel Josiah graduated from Oregon State University as a Civil Engineer and is presently working at David Evans and Associates, a large engineering firm in Portland, Oregon. Daniel and Bonnie were married August 2010. Paul Andrew is an EMT and is presently studying medicine. David James is a professional photographer with an incredible ability to fix anything!