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Remembering C. Russell Deibler

A History Of
C. Russell Deibler

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April 1933- The Pioneer
Great Joy in That City

Russell Deibler
"Then Philip went -and preached Christ unto them. And the people gave heed unto those things which he spake, --And there was great joy in that city. " Acts 8:5-6-8

Great joy always attends the receiving of the preaching of Christ. It is a joyous message of release from sin, therefore it cannot but give out that which it is; joy, comfort, gladness, contentment, satisfaction and triumph. It is not dependent upon the preacher, not the time, not the kind of people who receive it, but simply upon giving heed to it or receiving it with an open heart.
The above scripture refers to an incident that occurred some nineteen centuries ago, but I am about to write to you of an event that is occurring at the time of the writing of this article. Then Christ was preached to the people of the city of Samaria, but now to the long neglected Dyaks of inland Borneo. Doubtless Philip spoke to them in the Greek language, but here we are using the Malay, a language that is neither the Dyaks' nor our own. However, it is the preaching of the same Christ, the same Gospel, which is still the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth, to the Samaritan first, and also to the Dyak. Moreover the time period cannot effect it. The result is the same, in the first or twentieth century, great joy to any city, "longhouse", or individual who will receive it. I am writing today from a far inland Dyak "longhouse" where a Chinese worker and myself have spent almost a week gossiping the Gospel. Day and night we have preached Christ in one manner or another, and the Dyaks have given heed to the Message. This is their busiest season of the year but many of them have come from their distant rice fields to hear the Good News. They have listened very patiently to us and last night the crisis came. At the close of the evening service I invited those who felt a desire to leave all and follow Jesus to make their desire and need known in a short confession. How my heart thrilled as they spoke boldly before their fellow tribesmen of their longing for release from sin and superstition, and for a simple trust in God's Son as their Savior and Keeper. How glad we were to point them to Him who is the only Way.
I wish you could have seen the difference it made in that "longhouse". I am bold to say, there was great joy in that place! They tried in every way to show their appreciation to us, and before we left they made us a grand feast of all their delicacies. When we were leaving, they came to the launch and we had to shake hands with them all, from the least to the greatest, and as far downstream as I could see them their hands were waving in fond farewell.
However, it is just the beginning of days and months and years, yes life unto them. They have merely started to taste the good things of God and they shall need much teaching from the Word to learn how to walk before the Lord. Will you not pray that these who have begun may continue in the way and be used to point others to Christ? The fields are truly ripe unto harvest. Who will share in the ingathering?