As many of you know via my Facebook note, I lost my dearest friend, brother in the Lord, mentor and teacher on Father’s day. The Lord decided it was time for Pastor Dave Baker to come home. And while it is a bittersweet pill I rejoice along with Catia and many others that David is now surrounded by the glory of his precious Jesus.
I have had the blessing of ministering with David for the past 25 years or so and during that time He has opened up the doors of heaven for me in so many ways. During those years Diane and I witnessed the powerful move of the Holy Spirit in countless services; honoring Dave’s preaching and teaching of the Word of God.
David and his first wife Linda carried the Word of God to many churches with a powerful prophetic anointing. Their services were always followed with both physical and spiritual healings. And with the prophetic gift also came great discernment and they left a path of incredible fruit behind. When the Lord took Linda home Dave was devastated and for awhile we talked a great deal about what God had in store for him. It was a very difficult time but David’s faith in God’s calling was rewarded with a tremendous gift. Supernaturally God opened the door for Dave into Catia’s life and from that moment on they moved forward, deeply in love and as a powerful ministry team serving in Brazil. Their ministry has been a blessing to many and God has poured out His Spirit in great measure as they ministered His Word. They have been a part of the move of the Spirit that is setting Brazil on fire for the Lord.
And so I, along with so many whose lives Dave has touched over the years, pause and ask God … Why? Sadly for us we know the answer but it so often doesn’t make sense. Diane and I were in the same place standing alongside Dave asking the same question when Linda went home. Now we stand alongside Catia with but the same word … Why? Only now can Dave answer those two questions while we are left to stand in faith in the sovereignty of God.
But as bittersweet as this is I have a huge smile on my face.
My dear brother Warren Larken, who was also ordained into the ministry by David, talked with Catia and recorded the conversation, which he shared with me on Tuesday. What an incredible testimony Dave left us all. Without going into details — many of which I don’t know — let me share with you the glorious side of Dave’s trip home.
He had been ill for several days and the medicine he was taking didn’t help as his immune system was failing for whatever reason. Catia said she became aware that David knew the Lord was taking him home and he was trying to prepare her for that with his typical encouragement in the Word and his wonderful smile. And I think if I know Dave, that smile meant a great deal more. Catia said that during those few days Dave was constantly surrounded by the Glory of God. He described it to her and said at times it was like lighting all around. This was not foreign to Dave as he has seen it many times in his ministry, but this was not for others … it was for Dave.
On the last evening Dave was with us he was lying in bed and Catia was there praying with him when the phone rang sometime after midnight. A pastor from a church where Dave and Catia had just held a revival called because God impressed him to let Dave know at that very moment that the glory that had fallen during their service had continued to remain. He wanted Dave and Catia to know that their “fruit” remained and was being multiplied in his church. It was shortly after that when Dave peacefully fell asleep and the Lord took him home.
This is important because the Lord told me that phone call was symbolic of all the fruit that remains today as a result of David and Linda and Catia, and their devotion to the Lord’s calling and giftings. What a testimony Dave has left behind that so many of us have witnessed. What a legacy for his daughter Courtney. What a privilege for me to have been blessed to have walked beside him for so many years. To have seen Dave pour out the love of God in some of the most difficult places and circumstances. The prophetic call is a hard call and it took Dave some time to come to grips with it. But when he did, Jesus could not have had a more faithful servant to go into the highways and byways with the hard message of God’s truth. And what a difference He has made in the lives of countless people here in America and in Brazil.
Catia – by the Lord’s grace you are now empowered with all that Dave was given to carry forward the hopes, dreams and vision you both shared. Know in your heart that there are countless warriors interceding for you each and every day here in America, right alongside your precious flock in Sao Paulo. And the spirit of your beloved David rests on your shoulder.And the huge smile on my face?
Well, I always told Dave that I would get there first because I was older and God had so much more for him to accomplish. And here I am, writing this note to myself and sharing it with you while himself is sitting at Jesus feet; surrounded by His glory. I am willing to bet everything I have that there is not a bigger grin anywhere in heaven than the one my dear brother is wearing.
You won the race Dave as I guess I have a bit more to do before it’s my turn.
And at that thought the tears preclude me from writing further.
Until we both stand in His presence Dave, I love you and miss you dearly buddy but I rejoice in your homecoming. Know that Catia and Courtney are ever in our arms and our prayers.