Sergii and Tatiana were born and raised in Russia. Both grew up not understanding the saving power of Jesus Christ and only rarely heard about God while visiting their grandparents.
“Since childhood, my mind was permeated with materialistic, communist ideologies,” recalls Tatiana. Her parents were loving and caring—her father was an engineer and her mother a nurse—but they also had been raised during the communist regime. “Yet they always taught me to make right choices, respect adults, don’t lie. I never heard the word ‘God’ from my parents or my teachers because everyone was afraid of losing their jobs.”
When Sergii was eight, his mother told him he was Jewish. This spurred him on to examine Soviet history in this new light and he started to question its politics both past and present. While traveling to other countries on a sports team Sergii would go into churches, curious about these “religious people” and wanting to understand why they worshipped.
The days of the “perestroika” after the dissolution of the Soviet Union were a turning point for the Kachanovs. Sergii attended a Messianic Jewish music festival and upon his return home declared that he was leaving his job to “join the army of the Lord.” As Tatiana saw the change in Sergii’s life she began to secretly read the Bible. The two began attending a Messianic congregation and in 1999 moved to the U.S. to start an outreach program for Russian Jewish immigrants in Chicago, Ill.
In 2003, they met The Salvation Army and the couple began leading worship and a Bible study in Russian at the Des Plaines, Ill., Corps (center for worship and service).
“I was so happy to see how God was using The Salvation Army to save lost souls and transform them into Spirit-led lives,” said Sergii.
In the fall of 2004, the Kachanovs began a two-year seminary program at The Salvation Army’s College for Officer Training in Chicago, Ill. After being ordained they returned to the Des Plaines, Ill., Corps to lead the Russian ministry.
The Kachanovs first moved to Ukraine in 2006 and opened a Salvation Army corps in Dnepropetrovsk. In 2011 they moved to Canada where they are now appointed as the corps officers of the Nanaimo Corps.
The Kachanovs have one adult son, George, who is a Salvation Army officer in the Canada and Bermuda Territory.