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Remembering C. Russell Deibler

A History Of
C. Russell Deibler

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January 1946- The Pioneer

Dedicated to the Memory of
Rev. Charles Russell Deibler with Christ
By W.E. Presswood

"God takes the best"

These are the words of a Roman Catholic friar, which he spoke in reference to the passing of our honored friend and brother in Christ, Rev. C. R. Deibler. It was the general feeling in the interment camp, that God had indeed taken one of the best men in the camp to be with Himself. During the seventeen months of his internment, Brother Deibler found his way into the hearts of all classes of men, so that when he passed away suddenly on August 29th, 1943, the feeling of loss was very widespread. His funeral, the second to be held in the camp at Pare-pare, was very impressive and moving. Many months later a Dutch gentleman spoke to the writer and said that at that funeral service he had given his heart to Christ.
Brother Deibler was still a young man. He was not quite 38 years old when the Lord called him to Himself. Converted when but a youth, he early felt the Lord's call to service, and in response went to the Missionary Training Institute at Nyack, New York, where his popularity led to his being chosen President of the Students' Missionary Society, and speaker for the yearly young people's rally known as "Congress of Bands", held in New York City. Just before graduating he applied to the Board of missionary service, and was sent, together with the writer, to this field during the latter part of 1930. After a fruitful term of service in Borneo, Brother Deibler returned home on furlough, where he had an unusually successful period of deputational work. During furlough he met and married Miss Darlene McIntosh, of Boone, Iowa, who came to the field with him in 1938, after they had spent some months in Holland for the purpose of acquiring a knowledge of Dutch. The first part of their united service was among the stone-age tribes of the Wissel Lakes area of Dutch New Guinea. From there Brother Deibler was called to the position of assistant Chairman of the N.E.I. field. When war broke out in the Pacific he felt a great responsibility for the safety of our missionaries and did all he could to ensure this.
After his internment, with the writer, on March 13, 1942, he had a period of very-much- blessed ministry, both in camp and outside, for he had the privilege for a time of going out each Sunday to the war prisoners' camp to hold a service. He was able to help some of the British and American prisoners of war who, at the time, were in very great need. Several of his sermons in camp made a lasting impression so that, many months afterwards, some could still recount the main points of his sermons. At a gathering on Christmas Eve, 1942, of the whole camp in Pare-pare, he narrated the story of "The Other Wise Man", to the great delight of all who heard him. Many Dutch people who didn't know much English could understand him quite well as he spoke so clearly and simply. Besides his wife, Brother Deibler is survived by a sister and several brothers. To them our heartfelt sympathy is extended. Mrs. Deibler, since her release from internment, has been repatriated. We wish her God's richest blessing on her furlough, and trust she will soon be back with us to labor in this part of Christ's harvest field.