February 15, 1937 - February 16, 2023
Every person has a legacy they leave.
Lyuda has a story of God's faithfulness. Lyudmila Kupriyanovna Nefedova was born on February 15th, 1937, in Krasnoyarsk Krai, Russia to Kupriyan Petrovich and Afimiya Fadeevna Nefedovy. She was born during a time when Stalin was eliminating those that would not join the communist party and renounce their God. When Lyuda was one year old, her father and uncles were either killed or sent to labor camps for refusing the communist demands. The remaining family sought refuge in local forests, laboring to survive.
Lyuda grew up in a "snow house," her family eating whatever they could forage from the snow-covered landscape. Lyuda’s mother raised her and her siblings without their father. Years later, she found out that her father died in a labor camp. Lyuda’s mother taught her children about their father's faith despite knowing the punishments it could bring to their family. They did not have a Bible, only a knowledge of the God of her grandparents whom they prayed to daily. Lyuda survived these conditions, but several of her older siblings did not.
As an adult, Lyuda worked as a Meteorologist in her hometown of Turukhansk. Later in life, Lyuda gave birth to a beautiful and healthy daughter whom she named Elena. She grew up and later attended Moscow University, while Lyuda stayed in the remote north. Lyuda later came to join her daughter in Moscow after she completed university. In 1991 the Soviet Union collapsed, which led to American Christian missionaries coming to Moscow and meeting Elena. During this time, Elena started to attend their Bible studies and grew in her knowledge of the God her family worshiped. Elena brought her mom to church where the missionaries shared their faith and gave them Bibles. This led to them coming to a personal faith in Jesus Christ. While in Moscow, Lyuda was blessed with two grandchildren, Mariya
and Nikolay, and the family continued to live there for many years.
Later, her daughter Elena married an American, and eventually, the whole family came to the United States. Once stateside, Lyuda moved around with her family and lived in several states, including California, Washington, Texas, and North and South Carolina. Wherever they lived, the family attended church together, prayed and read the Bible daily. As the COVID-19 Pandemic restrictions were lifting, Lyuda’s health was deteriorating. She would attend church as her health allowed, but continued to listen to the service online. She remained living with Elena until God called her to His Heavenly Home one day after celebrating her 86th birthday.
She is survived by her daughter, Elena Stoddard and her son-in-law Clint, who live in Gaffney, SC. She has two grandchildren, Mariya Burrows and her husband Jason, living in Leavenworth, Kansas, and Nikolay Essani and his wife Bethany living in Grand Junction, Colorado. She has one brother, Vladimir, and sister-in-law Lyudmila, who live in Russia.
She also has two nephews Pavel and Andrei and their families, still living in Russia as well.