I Remember When…

At the age of thirteen I dedicated my life to Christ. I promised to serve Him as a missionary if that would be His will. After finishing my Bible training at Bob Jones University in May of 1950, the Lord opened a door for me to minister among Russian-speaking refugees who now found themselves in Germany after the end of World War II. Most of them had never ever heard the Gospel while living in the former Soviet Union.

Meanwhile, my father, Peter Deyneka, was also embarking on a summer ministry to those same Russian refugees in Germany. How appropriate that I could begin my journey as a missionary with him! We boarded the Queen Mary in New York on July 7, 1950 and landed in Southampton.

London Big Ben Phone Box

We were welcomed to London by former pastor John Thomas. He had already met with several other Christian leaders who were desirous to establish Slavic Gospel Association (UK). 

During our days in London, we attended a very special meeting. Several outstanding men of God gathered, first to pray, and then to begin SGA (UK).

I remember that meeting well!

Only being a visitor, I sat off to the side and observed an amazing scene. 

The occasion began with prayer! Then my father was invited to state his vision for SGA (UK). 

In his testimony my father told them how he had never heard about God’s love while living in Russia. But after accepting the Lord in the USA, now his only aim in life was to tell others, especially Russian-speaking people, about Jesus. That was why he had founded SGA.

“America is far from the Eastern European countries,” he told them. “Great Britain is much closer. What a blessing it would be for you to reach them with the gospel: to help train pastors, to send literature, and to encourage them in the Lord!”

A discussion of the potential possibilities and opportunities for the new mission dominated the hours of the first meeting.  Board officers were elected. Matters related to goals and protocol were agreed upon. Another meeting was scheduled for the future. The meeting ended with sincere heart-felt prayers from each board member.

After the last “Amen,” my father stood up. With a choked voice, he thanked the men for their commitment to take the Gospel story into Eastern Europe. He told them that he would be praying for them. And he did!

During the next two and a half years I remained in Germany and France as a missionary, ministering among the Russian refugees. 

I accepted several invitations to testify at SGA (UK) mission meetings in England and Wales. In later years, there were other such opportunities to be in SGA (UK) meetings in Northern Ireland, as well as other areas. I was thrilled to meet many new friends who were also praying for the needy souls in Eastern Europe.

Praise the Lord for SGA’s seventy years of rich ministry across Eastern Europe. Only heaven will reveal its full impact for the Gospel across that land.

I remember it all so very well!

Ruth Deyneka Erdel