Giesbrecht, Gerhard Benjamin (1906-1977)
Gerhard Benjamin Giesbrecht was born 27 January 1906 in Steinfeld, Molotschna Colony, Russia, to Benjamin Giesbrecht and Maria von Niessen. In 1909 the family moved to Markovka in the Slavgorod Mennonite colony, Siberia.
Gerhard Giesbrecht experienced a conversion in 1922 and was baptized on 6 August of that year, joining the Grishkov Mennonite Brethren church. He attended the Bible school in Davlekanovo, 1925-1926, where he developed a strong sense of mission. He and Katharina Unrauh were married on 7 April 1928 and emigrated to Paraguay with his parents in November 1929.
In the Chaco the Giesbrechts settled in the village of Gnadenheim, Fernheim Colony, where he served as elementary school teacher for six years. During this time, however, he was constantly thinking of working among the Indians, whom he called the "dear brown ones." In 1937 he and his family left the colony and settled at Yalve Sanga, the newly established mission station (Licht den Indianern). Except for minor interruptions their work continued at that place until 1960.From 1964 he served the Mennonite Brethren church in Filadelfia, but his heart remained with the work among the Indians. He died unexpectedly on 25 November 1977 of a heart attack while preaching a sermon at the Mennonite Brethren Church in Filadelfia.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 5, p. 341. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Ratzlaff, Gerhard. "Giesbrecht, Gerhard Benjamin (1906-1977)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1987. Web. 19 June 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/G5394.html.
APA style: Ratzlaff, Gerhard. (1987). Giesbrecht, Gerhard Benjamin (1906-1977). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 19 June 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/G5394.html.