A pastor and his family who fled Central Asia have found refuge in the United States but still have a heart for their former home.
Nearly a decade ago, Pastor Dmitry Shestakov was arrested by authorities in Uzbekistan for his Christian faith and spent four years in a labor camp.
After being released, he received death threats and was closely monitored by the government. Shestakov then moved his family to Ukraine, where the United Nations Human Rights Council granted them refugee status.
The family's journey of freedom officially ended in August when they were granted asylum in the U.S. and arrived in Florida.
Mission Eurasia is helping the family in the transition but the ministry's president, Sergey Rakhuba, says the family has not forgotten the country they were forced to leave.
"Right from the first day they landed here," Rakhuba says, "they were already thinking how they can minister back to other Christians, back in their homeland in Uzbekistan."
Uzbekistan is a country of approximately 30 million that was once part of the USSR.
Despite the persecution the pastor experienced, he and his family want to return to help not just their church but other churches and Christians.
Rakhuba asks for prayer for the Shestakov family as they start their new life in the United States.