“And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13

The following article records the remarkable events that took place in the life of Sister Sophie Derecki which led her, and in due course her family, to accept the Truth of the Gospel. Though invisible the hand of the Father can be discerned by the mind’s eye.

Germany invaded Poland on Sunday 3rd of September, 1939. In response to Germany’s refusal to withdraw, Britain declared war on Germany and the second World War, which was to last six years, commenced.

Our story commences with a young person brought up in country Poland who had at this time moved into Warsaw, the Polish capital, to work. Walking along one of the roads, she was picked up by German soldiers, put into a truck and, with several others, taken to Germany. The next five years were spent making munitions to aid their war effort. As the war progressed, the allied bomber offensive increased and she witnessed some of the terrible consequences, but fortunately was not herself injured.

As the war was drawing to a close, the allied forces pushed the Germans eastwards and then, when they surrendered, Germany was divided between the Russians and the allies, and the River Elbe was the dividing line.

The location of the factory where this young woman had worked was on the eastern bank of the Elbe River. Her relating of events was like this.

The British and Americans pulled out and went over the river. The next day the Russians came in. So the next morning, in order to escape she and others, they got away and ran over the bridge to the western side and into the allied occupation zone.

The next five years were spent in a displaced persons’ camp. During this time she married and had two children, a girl named Helen and a boy, Bill.

She said that at this time the possibility of return to Poland was presented, but the concept of being under Russian domination did not appeal to them. The prospect of going to Canada or America appealed, but did not materialise. Eventually they came to Australia. Her husband Nick got work as a baker in Merbein, just north of Mildura.

During the following years they had five more children. But it is in 1968 when their son Bill went to Adelaide to work that the story really develops. He worked with Brother Ken Monterola, who brought him into the Truth. A few years later, Fred, a younger member of the family also came to Adelaide and accepted the Truth.

Going back briefly in our story, whilst in the displaced persons’ camp the young woman, now our dear Sister Sophie Derecki, obtained a Bible and read enough of it to give Catholicism away. Also she was interested in what her sons, now Christadelphians, were telling her, so when in Adelaide she would go to the lectures. Nick would go along but was not as interested as she was.

About 1979 they sold their house in Merbein and moved into the Lake Caravan Park. It was intended that her husband Nick would retire from work and they would go around Australia, then return, buy another place and settle down.

During this time, Sophie attended evening meetings many times, but this was not the easiest thing to do as Nick had to leave for work at 4.30 am! Just how long this took place she could not recall. Sadly during this time Nick had a seizure and died. This left Sophie on her own in the Caravan Park. But it also meant she was now free to attend the meetings which she did. As a result she was baptised shortly after on 29th November 1980, the same day as Brother Rodney Janssen.

As we reflect on Sister Sophie’s story, we are reminded of the last verse of chapter 1 of Hebrews, where it refers to the work of the angels: “Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?”

What a long ministering it has been and it still goes on. Sister Sophie is now a member of the Mildura ecclesia and is looking forward to the return of the Master who has made all things possible.