Ruth Sprogis - Germany

Her companion's account of Her Testimony I'd like to acquaint you with the youngest sister worker in Germany:  Ruth Sprogis. She is 27 years old, truly a genuine, godly girl. She, along with her companion, Anne Markle, visited us recently. I asked Ruth to give us her testimony, and it touched my heart so deeply, I want to share it with you. 
 
Ruth was Born in East Prussia, the oldest of three children in the family. She had 2 younger brothers. Ruth remembers, as a child, that her mother often told her about Jesus, Who helped people in their need, and who went about doing good. When she was about 7 years old, she said to her mother one morning, "Mother, I'd like to see Jesus.” Her mother answered, "Pray, my child. Perhaps God will show you Jesus in a dream.” Ruth went to her room and did that, but the next morning she returned to her mother and said, “Mother, I prayed for God to show me Jesus, but I have not seen Him.” The answer was, “Just keep on praying, my child. Perhaps someday God will show Him to you." 
 
The family lived on a farm, but at this time, conditions were already bad enough so that there wasn't much to eat. Ruth had to go from house to house begging for food. It wasn't long till one morning the Russians came and announced that they should get ready. In an hour, a car would come and take them away. No reason was given. At the appointed time, the car arrived, and the family was taken captive. Along with 70 or 80 others, they were put aboard a train... on the way to Siberia. It was a 2 week trip. For the children, it was a new and exciting experience... a chance to see a little of the world, and nothing mattered, just as long as mother and daddy were along. Many became sick and died on the trip... others were born. 
 
Upon arrival in Siberia, they were put off the train, and they lived under the open sky for 10 days and nights. It was June, but the nights were icy cold and it often rained. Food was very scarce. Along with many others, Mrs. Sprogis became very ill... she also had heart trouble. At the end of 10 days, all were led into a village. There the Sprogis were given a room to stay in. The father worked in the mines and was only allowed to come home weekends. Mrs. Sprogis wasn't able to go in search for food, so each morning at 3:00 Ruth had to get up and go into the woods, with other women, to gather berries, mushrooms, and herbs. At this time, Ruth was about 8 years old. They could hardly go later on in the day because of the heat and poisonous mosquitoes. 
 
One afternoon when Ruth returned from the woods with her berries, her little brothers, 5 and 6 years old, told her the mother had gone with some others into the woods to look for food. But when those returned with whom the mother had gone, Mrs. Sprogis was not with them. The women said they had lost sight of the mother and assumed that her pail was full and that she had returned home. At this time, Ruth was 10 years old. She, along with some of those women there, went back to the woods to search for her, without avail. Darkness fell upon them, and they had to return home, sick at heart. The father came home that evening, and Ruth said it was a sight she'll never forget. He looked into the room, saw the 3 children huddled together, crying, and when he was told what had happened, he collapsed. The next day, he and some of his friends set out to search for his wife, but found no trace. They assume she was either eaten by wild animals, or that she sank in quicksand. This happened in August. 
 
The father had to return to the mines, of course, so the 3 children were left alone. Three whole months they stayed alone, only seeing the father once a week when he was allowed to come home. Each day, Ruth went seeking enough food to keep the 3 of them alive, until snow came, which was in September. Each time the father came, he brought two small loaves of bread, which Ruth carefully divided, so that each had a little each day. At the end of 3 months, the father was able to secure a room in the barracks where he worked, so the children moved there with him. In December of that year, the youngest boy, who had just turned 6, died of starvation and cold, and in the following February, the other boy, then 7, became very ill, and because there was no medication, he also died. Ruth saw all this and in her young heart, she cried out to God. She remembered what her mother had told her, that Jesus helped people in their need and she felt so alone and in need... she prayed that God would send Jesus to help her... but He did not come.. there was no help. 
 
Things began to go a little better for them, naturally speaking. Ruth and her father were able to have a little garden and raise a few chickens, etc. In 1958, the ruling was made that those in West Germany who had relatives who had been taken captive in Siberia, could get papers to have them freed. So Ruth's mother's youngest sister in Hamburg did this and Ruth and her father returned to the west. The father remarried and the family moved to Bremen. Ruth worked away from home, in a bank, I believe. 
 
A tent went up close to where Ruth's parents lived, in Bremen, and the parents attended the meetings. They were impressed by what they heard and wrote for Ruth to come home, so she could hear it, too. This she did, and after conventions, when the tent went up again, Ruth went to the meetings also. She was now 21 years of age. Carl Leonhardt, Waldornar Dettrnann, and Horst Schulz were in the tent. Ruth had completely forgotten the German language in the time she was in Russia, so at this time she was just in the process of relearning the German and couldn't understand so much of what was said in the meetings. (She had attended the Russian school for 7 years and they were forbidden to speak German.) However, she said, for the first time in her life, she saw Jesus. Carl was able to speak Russian with her between meetings, which meant much to her. 
 
Even though the parents attended the tent mission each evening, they went to the Lutheran Church each Sunday morning, and Ruth had to go along. Her father was very strict. But the time came when Ruth saw she couldn't continue going both places; so one Sunday morning, her father came to her and said, “Ruth, get ready. We're going to church.” Ruth looked at him and said, “No, father. I'm not going anymore.” Her father was astonished at her answer, and fell to his knees, weeping and pleading. Ordinarily, Ruth would have then given in. Her love for her father was so great, but she thought, "I cannot.” She went to her room, weeping... got down on her knees and prayed that God would help her to have strength to do the right thing. She opened her Bible and it fell open to Matthew 10, where Jesus said, “If ye love father or mother... more than Me... ye cannot be My disciple." To her, this was the answer. She arose, put on her glasses, so no one could see that she had been weeping, took her Bible and went to the park to await time to go to the Sunday AM meeting in the tent. That scripture was her testimony that morning. From that time on, her parents turned very bitter and never attended another meeting. They have made it very hard for Ruth, but she remains true. 
 
At the age of 24 years, she entered the Harvest Field. The strong dislike Ruth had in her heart for the Russians, who brought so much suffering and grief on the family, has now turned to a deep love for the souls of those people, and her greatest desire is to carry the Gospel to Russia... to help them to see Jesus, as she has seen Him. 
 
Truly, the work of God in a human heart is wonderful. It's a miracle!