Alumni Testimony: Daniel Yelfimov

As a young 14 year old kid about to start high school in a relatively new Christian school, it was hard to imagine what life would have looked like 5, 10, or 15 years down the road. Well, here I am now 16 years later, about to finish my residency as a chief resident in Urologic Surgery at the Mayo Clinic. I would like to share with you all the impact a Christ-centered education had on guiding me down this path.

After a call shift of being up for 30 hours straight, studying non-stop trying to absorb information as if you were drinking water from a fire hose, or not always being able to make it home before your son goes to bed or making a critical mistake in surgery, you sometimes question yourself about what motivates you. I can honestly say that the answer to that question has its roots in my high school education.

Glorifying God with excellence is my motivation.  Colossians 3:23-24 says, “Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ who you serve.” I’m sure that I had heard about this truth in church before, but never had I applied it to my life in any relevant way until high school.

Before starting as a freshmen at Faith, my transition from middle school to high school was a tenuous time in my spiritual life. I easily could have gone either way. However, God saw this and burdened my mom to use Faith Christian School as a stepping stone for a fresh start in my walk with Christ.


I began to see right away, from morning prayer, to devotions in class, leadership and accountability groups, Bible class, soccer practice, art class, home economics, math, science, and even English class, that the reason for doing everything with excellence was not because it would impress my friends, teachers, coaches, or even my parents, but hopefully Christ would be glorified. Was I perfect in this regard? Of course not, but that’s exactly my point. Whenever I failed, I always had godly mentors and teachers guiding me back with God’s Word. And it was not only our teachers and coaches. Faith is where I became best friends with my future wife, Casey, without who I could never have made this life journey.


Four years of a Christ-centered education has established a foundation for me to continue on towards a career path, where I have been blessed enough to train at one of the top urology residency programs in the country. This mentality, of striving for excellence for God’s glory and not necessarily “self-motivation” has helped me continue to finish first in my class both in college and medical school. God blessed me tremendously in this regard.

Now I look back and find it hard to imagine where I would have end up without Faith as part of my education. This was the setting where God wanted me to learn how to continue to live my life beyond graduation – in college, medical school, residency, and now as I start my career in a large urology practice in San Antonio, Texas.




Dawn Oliver
Dawn is an Administrative Assistant at Faith Christian School.