Pastor Vasiliy Skorykh (Scor-yick) grew up in communist times in the Soviet Union town of Sverdlovsk (today called Yekatrinburg), a son of a Christian pastor. Because of threats of imprisonment, he and his family could only meet as a church with other Christians in remote and hidden locations late at night. “My father was pastor of an underground church for 32 years. He was put in prison because he is Christian,” said Vasiliy. “I remember my dad tell me I believe we are going to see in this time we are going to preach right in this square, and it happened.”
Shortly after coming to America in 1997, Vasiliy established the Answer in Jesus ministry in Coon Rapids, MN. Vasiliy has returned to his Russian homeland several times with mission teams over the years, bringing the hope and relief that only God can provide. “We started to take mission teams and go visit Russia. Thousands of people do not know God in Russia. I feel I am a church planter. My main goal is to open churches and prepare people to keep those churches going,” Vasiliy said. Today, he also visits Cuba, a country that still has close ties to Russia. He said, “The Cuban culture is similar to Russia. They love Russia.”
Answer in Jesus’ Sunday service is in Russian with English translation. The kids’ programs are in English. “Most families who are in America now, their kids are speaking both languages. Mostly English. We open our church as a mission. It was foundation for us.” With church planting and missions in his heart, Vasiliy brings youth as young as 14 along on missions’ trips to show them how people live in poor countries and what’s happening in the world. Answers in Jesus is currently preparing a missions trip to Nicaragua in December.
In May 2022, Vasiliy’s son, Nikita, was in a car accident. A pickup truck t-boned their family minivan. As the ambulance pulled up, it only took one look to assume they were there to pick up a body. Nikita was not breathing and had no pulse. He had just dropped his kids off at his mother-in-law’s home and was headed to work. She heard the crash, ran out, and started praying. After about six minutes, Nikita suddenly coughed and started to breathe. “I believe to God and to prayer for miracle,” Vasiliy said. Many more miraculous healings took place and Nikita is now in Springfield, MO, pursuing his master’s degree.
Vasiliy encourages other pastors of ethnic churches, “Don’t worry about the language. It’s nothing compared to Biblical doctrines. Secondly, give more opportunity for young people. They can do today much better than we are. But we have to teach them some bible teachings, so they can hold their whole life. Leave it better than how we came.”