About the Book

Front cover of Beyond the RapidsBeyond the Rapids is the award-winning true story of Ukrainian pastor Alexei Brynza and his wife, Valentina, who endured persecution in a culture that was hostile to their faith as they struggled to raise their four children as believers.

Spanning the years from the Great Terror of the 1930s to the time when believing in Christ is no longer a crime, this close-knit Ukrainian family quietly persisted through the years, trusting God for everything. The Brynzas’ children, forced to choose between God and the communist system, wrestled with temptations of ambition, popularity, love, and wealth. But God heard the faithful prayers of Alexei and Valentina, and the Brynza family was able to not only survive, but to thrive. Their son-in-law, Igor Yaremchuk, adds his own testimony of coming to Christ with the help of miracles and atheistic propaganda.

Beyond the Rapids is a story for all believers everywhere. Parents—even parents of wayward children—concerned about raising their children as Christians. Believers facing trials, or who are concerned about the erosion of religious freedom and how to stand firm in their faith.  The Brynzas’ testimony of God’s faithfulness will give hope and inspiration as you are reminded anew that God is with you, in every moment. And as you sail through the torrents in your own life, God will meet you right where you are and guide you to the smooth water beyond the rapids.

What others are saying about Beyond the Rapids:

Igor and Lena YaremchukFor many years we wanted to tell the story of how God helped our family through persecution.  When God laid this desire on our hearts, we simply wanted to give testimony to His faithfulness.  We had no idea that times would change and that religious freedom in America would erode.  It is our hope that Christians in the west will learn from our experience, and know that when persecution comes, it is possible to walk with the Lord and serve Him.  Circumstances may change, believers may live in freedom or persecution, but Jesus is always the same. We are grateful to Evelyn Puerto for reliving the era of persecution with us, so that others can be encouraged to be faithful to the end.

—Igor and Lena Yaremchuk

This is the moving story of a precious believer in Christ who remained faithful despite extreme, government-sponsored persecution. More than that, it is the story of God's faithfulness to His beleaguered people, showing once more that even the most evil intentions of sinful men can be employed by God to bring about great good. Irpin Biblical Seminary is a monument to
that great truth, and the life of Dr. Alexei Brynza is a testimony to the immeasurable grace of our omnipotent God, who is able to make all things (including our hardest trials) work together for good.
—John MacArthur

At long last you have the opportunity to read the inspiring story of my friends Lena & Igor Yaremchuk. You will be fascinated to see what opened Igor’s aesthetic eyes to recognize the existence of God. And you will be inspired by the heartrending story of a family’s struggle for survival amidst crushing persecution.  This book will bless your life.
—June Hunt
Founder, CEO, CSO (Chief Servant Officer)
Hope for the Heart 

Beyond the Rapids is a gripping story of a family that demonstrated courage and faith in their bitter struggle against atheistic communism.

Evelyn Puerto tells of God’s intervention and the demonstration of His hand of comfort through answers to prayer in the midst of great fear, deprivation and uncertainty.  The historical content lends great credence to the events and helps us understand the tremendous struggles followers of Christ, living in an oppressive society, experience. The reader will be captivated by the lives of the Brynza children, the difficulties they encountered because they were from a Christian family, the romantic intrigue they experienced, God’s protection and grace in their lives.  It is a wonderful story of God’s faithfulness to a family dedicated to His glory.
—Dr. Bob Evans
International Representative
BCM International