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Senior Medical Scientist, Bechtel Nevada/Martin Lockheed
Graduated from Leningrad Military Medical Academy
Igor Shafhid was born and raised in Soviet Russia where he became a doctor of internal medicine and a military officer. In 1986, following the Chernobyl accident, Igor studied overexposure of radiation to the soldiers who responded to the disaster. As a military doctor, he performed large-scale chemical and biological military field exercises. These exercises covered everything from recovery of dead, contaminated bodies to how to control infectious diseases in hospital and ER settings. He has had first-hand experience with most military chemical agents and their effects on the human body, including specialized training in handling infected and contaminated patients.
Igor now works for Bechtel Nevada/Martin Lockheed as Senior Medical Scientist and as a Domestic Preparedness Consultant. He works with the Counter-terrorism Operations Support (CTOS) /Nevada Operations on behalf of the U.S. Department of Energy. Igor develops and implements training programs for CTOS, training physicians, first responders, SWAT teams, law enforcement, FBI, counterterrorism units, firefighters, paramedics, civil support teams (National Guard), and U.S. customs. He trains teams to be prepared to react quickly to foreign and domestic terrorism and weapons of mass destruction through the use of exercises for nuclear, radiological, chemical, and biological attack.
A Salvation Encounter
Igor was married to the daughter of a two-star general who pressured Igor not to leave the military. But Igor was disillusioned by the way the military and the government had handled Chernobyl. Then his first wife left him for his best friend. Igor continued looking for a way out of the military. He suffered great psychological pain and intense emotional pain of a divorce.
Almost at the point of suicide, Igor asked God to help him – and then he went on his own way! Igor believes the Lord heard him. About a year later in 1992, he was worse off than before. That’s when a small group of Americans made a short-term trip to St. Petersburg to share the gospel. Part of their mission trip was to pass out Bibles on the streets of St. Petersburg to anyone who would receive them. As Igor watched, Russians of all ages were reduced to tears and shaking as they received the first Bible they had ever owned. Igor says most of the young people who received a Bible didn’t even know what it was. But the presence of God was so strong. God's love seemed to flow right out of The Book so that people simply wept. Igor tried and tried to analyze this power that would make people weep.
Igor talked with one of the young women on that trip. Even though he spoke only 15 words of English and she spoke no Russian, they were able to discuss the gospel. With a Bible and a dictionary, the young woman painstaking translated key Scriptures word for word for the intrigued Russian doctor. Igor says the Holy Spirit was his interpreter and he “got it.” His life began to change dramatically. No more smoking or drinking. He began to attend Calvary Chapel in St. Petersburg and was baptized there. At age 27, he began to see the incredible darkness of his former life. As he took in the “real daily bread of the Word” he realized all he had missed and asked God to use him.
Before 1992 was complete, Igor married the young missionary who led him to the Lord. He and his new wife, June Summers Shafhid, came back to the U.S. in 1993, and he went to work for Bechtel/Martin.
Preparing for Biological Disaster
Together, Igor and June teach and minister on both physical and spiritual preparedness. He maintains a Web site where individuals can access an appendix that includes the practical, physical steps one can take to be prepared for a civil disaster in a given area.
For physical preparation, he says you can (and should) go to Wal-Mart and put into one suitcase all the basics that a family will need to help themselves. Those items to include are enough canned food and bottled water for two days for each family member, a can opener, scissors, two rolls of duct tape, a box of high efficiency particulate air filter masks, safety glasses, a complete change of clothing, long raincoats, battery-operated radio and flashlights with batteries, medical kits containing Kalium Iodine and Potassium Iodine, a compass, ten plastic bags, baby shampoo, scent-free hand lotion and soap powder, shower caps, non-alcoholic baby wipes, cotton pads, washcloths, sponges, towels, talc powder, cereal, golf umbrella, toilet paper and sanitary products, hydrogen peroxide, and a copy of Inside the Red Zone.
Igor says that God can divinely protect anyone who asks. He believes wholeheartedly in the power of prayer and the truth of the gospel. He says that Christians need to know how to resist fear and be strong in times of crisis. They need to study God’s Word and take practical steps so that they can effectively deal with whatever may happen in the world.
A caring friend will be there to pray with you in your time of need.