News Articles

Martyred father left legacy of faith

NOVOKUZNETSK, Russia (BP)–Knowing that her father gave his life for his faith has made 82-year-old Yelisavyeta Krukova a lifelong prayer warrior.

Krukova is a longtime member of the Baptist church in Novokuznetsk, a city of more than 500,000 in southern Siberia. She organizes overnight prayer vigils for every Wednesday and Friday. She enlists people to pray and if anyone has a scheduling conflict, that person must notify Krukova so she can find another church member to fill in. For her and the church, the prayer time is a serious ministry that cannot be broken.

Krukova, who vividly remembers the times of fear and persecution for the evangelical church in Russia, shared her family story:

“My father, Nestor, was a Christian evangelical minister in Russia before the Russian revolution of 1917. My father and mother moved to western Siberia, to what was then called Kuznetsk, in 1912.

“My father shared the Gospel with all around him. After the revolution, he continued to preach and teach despite the dangers. He was arrested and sent to prison twice when I was a child — one time for six months, another time for a year. Not so long. He came home to my mother and us, but he would not stop preaching and teaching.

“In 1938, my father was arrested again and sent to another prison, this time for 10 years. But even in prison, he would preach, and in December of 1944 he was shot and killed there because he would not stop preaching.

“My family relied on prayer for our every existence. Times were hard. I had nine brothers and sisters, 10 of us in all, but five died. Only five of us lived to be grown. Life was hard. But we loved each other and loved God.

“This city has had three names, Kuznetsk, Stalinsk and now Novokuznetsk. Our family lived here and in 1944 we joined the Baptist evangelical church.

“I met my husband and we married and had 10 children. I have 57 grandchildren and 30 great-grandchildren. I live with my husband, daughter-in-law and two grandchildren in a beautiful house my children built for me. My family loves me and respects me.

“We older women must pray. We pray well because we know it is important. I am in charge of our prayer ministry. People know we must take it seriously.”
Polly House is a corporate communications specialist for LifeWay Christian Resources.

    About the Author

  • Polly House