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First Fruits

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The Lord granted us a blessed time of service among Dyaks of the interior, whose hearts had been prepared by the Holy Spirit for the Truth. I took about a week of steady hiking to reach this section of Borneo, but it was worth it. How happy they were to hear from the lips of a missionary the glorious story of redemption through God’s Son. Scores expressed their desire to follow the Lord.

I did not want to baptize until I had instructed them thoroughly in the path of righteousness. However, the Lord kept bothering me for several hours in regard to one old chief, who prayed so earnestly and on whose face I saw tears of remorse and contrition. He prayed rationally and apparently in the Holy Ghost. I said in my heart, “Yes, Lord, I’ll baptize this old chief even though this has been the first time he has heard a missionary proclaim the Truth.”

What a glorious baptism! As we stood on the bank of this small stream in the interior, the old chief turned partially toward the large group from his village, who had come to witness his baptism, and partially toward my two native workers and myself standing nearby, and unsolicited began to testify as to what the Lord had done for him. Then, in the midst of his testimony, he closed his eyes and united his testimony with such a prayer that my own heart melted before God. I shall never forget that prayer nor the tear-stained face and hand lifted to heaven. In closing he said, “Tabik Toehan Isa (Adieu, Lord Jesus)”; he had not learned to say “Amen” as yet. As he rose from the waters of baptism, the group on the shore sang in their own language of the blood that cleanses.

—Rev. E. H. Mickelson, The Alliance Weekly, October 29, 1938

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