Leschinskiy Puts Faith First, by David Dennis

The Leschinskiy family knows no other way than the Christian way. They value what they call the real meaning of freedom of religion and don’t take the opportunity of to share their faith for granted.

Mark and Yelena Leschinskiy grew up in the former Soviet Union routinely being shamed for their beliefs even as children. But now safe in the United States, they have stayed strong in their faith.

Yelena Leschinskiy said she is dedicated to her family, children and teaching. Fifteen-year-old Julie, the oldest, talks openly and freely about her convictions and tries to understand how faith has guided her parents. Dennis, the second oldest, is learning more about his own beliefs as he enters adolescence. Eight-year-old Alisa sings and dances to Christian radio energetically.

Mark Leschinskiy, maintains that in the home, faith is strong and defines the type of people they are.

“Each day is all about faith. I wake up read the Bible early in the morning, then tend to animals and chores at home. After I finish everything at home, I head to work,” said Mark.

Faith and work go hand in hand. Every element of the Leschinskiy’s everyday life is embedded in their faith.

In the evenings, children finish their homework and then practice music. Julie plays the piano, Alisa plays the violin, and Dennis plays the tenor saxophone. “Our love of music is incorporated in to our faith, and it helps express our love of Christ” said Mark.

Mark Leschinskiy tells Julie, “Play something beautiful for us.” Julie replies as a typical teenager would, “I don’t wanna.” However after some convincing, she plays beautiful music on the piano for the entire family.

Back in the Soviet Union, Mark Leschinskiy had asked his music teacher about learning to play the guitar, but his teacher never gave him the chance because he didn’t think very highly of Christians. Even his fellow classmates relentlessly taunted him because of his beliefs, which only solidified his faith in Christ. “I want my children to have the opportunities that I never had, that’s why I encourage music so much,” Mark Leschinskiy said.

Attitudes about faith in the former Soviet Union were not so sweet.

“We used to get F’s on our assignments and report cards, just because we were Christian,” Mark Leschinskiy said.  “I have worked really hard to make this life for my family.  From oppression we rose, with hard work and commitment to our faith.”

The family tries to live out their family by by volunteering time to neighbors and their church. Mark and Yelena Leschinskiy said their lives are a dream come true. They take nothing for granted, and treat every day as a gift.

“We are so thankful for the life we live. It’s a great life,” Yelena Leschinskiy said.