by Robert Sloan Latimer
Scripture Testimony Index stories in this book
Dr. Baedeker had a reputation for being a man who loved others; and was compared to the Apostle John, who wrote so much about love. Baedeker often left home with a rug, but he seldom returned with it, for nearly every time he had given it to someone he met on his travels who was in need.
Unbelieving, worldly, middle-aged Dr. Baedeker had reluctantly agreed to attend a series of Lord Radstock's evangelistic meetings. Baedeker would hurriedly leave after each service. But one evening the crowd prevented his quick escape, and so Lord Radstock was able to tell Dr. Baedeker that God had a message for him. Later Baedeker said about that meeting, “I went in a proud German infidel, and came out a humble, believing disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ.” And the rest of Baedeker's life testified to his total transformation.
Dr. Baedeker had always been in delicate health. But after his conversion, he stepped out in faith, abandoned his medication, and trusted God for his wellbeing. For the next forty years, as he dedicated his life to serving Christ, he enjoyed good health and vigor.
After Fraulein Blücher’s conversion, she dedicated her life and resources to Kingdom service and opened a mission center, which soon became too small. The need for a bigger space brought her and her friends to God in prayer. While they were still praying, God sent a stranger to help meet the need.
Colonel Paschkoff, an influential and wealthy officer of the Imperial Guards of Russia, was a devoted follower of Jesus. For his persistence in evangelizing, in holding prayer meetings and Bible studies, and for tract distribution, he was forever banished from Russia by Emperor Alexander III.
”I was in prison and you came to me.” In the parable of the Sheep and the Goats in Matthew 25, Jesus provided examples of the kinds of things that a believer will do when his or her heart is aligned to the heart of God. In answer to prayer, Dr. Baedeker was given a permit to visit any prison in Russia, so that he could see those “who are kept out of sight, and are never thought of by others.”
Once while jostling in a crowd of passengers trying to secure seats on the train to Moscow, Dr. Baedeker’s pocket-book was stolen. Not only did it contain a considerable amount of money and his passport, but it had also contained his precious prisons-permit, without which he could not gain access to the prisons. But “God turned the curse into a blessing,” in that the replacement prisons-permit granted even greater liberties and privileges.
When asked if her husband carried a weapon for protection given the places he went and the kinds of people he encountered in the course of his ministry, Mrs. Baedeker simply replied that he would never dream of arming himself. She was then asked, “Do you mean to say he went forth absolutely defenseless?” to which she replied, “By no means. God was his defense!”
Dr. Baedeker was told of a certain district where the men were wild, desperate and murderous; killing and robbing people of their possessions. His remarkable response to this forewarning was, “Tell me all about them, I mean to go there. Those people terribly need the gospel!” Baedeker went in spite of the risk and accomplished his mission unharmed.
Dr. Baedeker was preaching on the subject of “The Bible” in Zurich, which was like issuing a challenge to skeptical university students. The unbelievers attended in order to deride and to mock, and an excited mob gathered outside the hall shouting, “We will fling him into the lake when he comes out!” But like the Apostle Paul's escape through an opening in the wall, Dr. Baedeker was able to safely slip out the back.
Dr. Baedeker's guide became very anxious after they found themselves lost in the middle of nowhere, in the winter, with nightfall fast approaching. Dr. Baedeker’s immediate solution was to pray, while his guide would only fret. Finally, they knelt down together to pray, and their rescue came before they had even finished.
A young man told Dr. Baedeker of how God answered his urgent prayer. He had been riding in a remote region, with not a house or human being as far as he could see, when the horse stumbled. The young man, who was far from God in his heart, was thrown and broke his leg, and worse still, the horse ran away. Facing death by wolves or exposure, he cried out, “O God, if there be a God...have mercy...” and was promptly delivered in body and soul.
During a massacre of Armenians in Baku, mobs moved house to house, burning them and their occupants to ashes. Patwakan Tarajantz, Dr. Baedeker’s ministry companion and interpreter, was at home with his wife and ten children. Faced with what seemed like inevitable death, Patwakan turned to God in prayer. Just as the mob reached his home God sent an unexpected deliverer, and the family was spared.
Patwakan Tarajantz and his family were miraculously spared a fiery death at the hands of angry mobs of those who hated the Armenians. In a demonstration of “do good to those who hate you,” and with the help of the British and Foreign Bible Society, Mr. Tarajantz supplied the bread of everlasting life to his would-be murderers.
Dr. Baedeker forgot about a vicious guard dog about which he had been warned. In trying to run away, he stumbled and fell hard, while the dog came rushing up, growling angrily. Dr. Baedeker's heart went to heaven in a prayer for protection. Just as God shut the mouths of the lions for Daniel, to everyone's surprise, the dog merely sniffed, then went back to his kennel.
The willingness of the Esthonians to hear the gospel notwithstanding, Dr. Baedeker was faced with strong opposition from Lutheran priests who believed only workers ordained by them should share the gospel. They went out of their way in an attempt to block him, eventually sending the police.
When the police in Riga would not allow Dr. Baedeker to go ahead with a planned meeting because preaching by “unauthorized persons” was prohibited, he shrewdly found a loophole in the law and took advantage of it to share the gospel over several nights to thousands of people in the city.
Dr. Baedeker presented a convicted murderer who could not read with a “Wordless Book,” and took the time to lovingly walk the fellow through its three leaves and their meanings. At the end of his visit, the grateful prisoner tearfully declared, "Thank you, sir, a thousandfold, for bringing such a message to such an unworthy wretch as I am!"
Dr. Baedeker exemplified the parable of the talents in which Jesus describes faithful servants as those who invest one hundred percent of what the Master had entrusted to them. Baedeker was a successful man, and after his conversion, he used all of his time and resources to increase the Master’s Kingdom.
Dr. Baedeker, filled with compassion, arranged to provide a proper, hearty meal for over five hundred emigrants and discharged soldiers—all poor and starving—who were aboard a ship with him. Dr. Baedeker found true joy as he watched the people enjoy the meal, looking to God in thanksgiving, and there were many opportunities to speak to them about spiritual matters.
A nobleman—now a wreck in piteous condition—had been banished and imprisoned in Siberia for some crime. When the poor man asked for help, Dr. Baedeker gave him money and clothes, which caused the grateful man to burst into a flood of tears.
Like “bread cast upon the waters” returning “after many days,” Dr. Baedeker was encouraged to meet with a prisoner who had been blessed by his preaching many years before.
Baroness Mathilda von Wrede, who clearly had God’s heart, was able to translate the warmth of Dr. Baedeker’s Gospel sermon into Finnish. Previously a university professor had given a sterile translation. While the prisoners were unaffected by the professor's words, they were moved to tears when they heard Baedeker address them as “beloved friends,” and “brothers.”
Baroness von Wrede was compelled by compassion for a particularly hard-hearted and dangerous criminal. At first, he was adamantly opposed to her, covering his ears, and threatening to kill her. But she prayed continually for him and visited him again and again, until eventually God broke his stony heart. With deep penitence he took his awful crimes to Him who said, “I will in no wise reject him that comes.”
"Our house belongs to the Lord Jesus. Therefore regard it as your dwelling-place whenever you come to Baku.” These were the sweet words of Dr. Baedeker's Christian hosts, and so warm was their hospitality that he remarked, "We may teach them from the Word; but they act the Word, and leave us far behind.”
While traveling in Sweden, Dr. Baedeker gave a tract to an agnostic woman, lovingly challenging her to read it and to think about it. After more conversation, he gave her his card and asked her to promise to let him know when she had finally met Jesus. Eight years later, he got a letter. She had come to faith in Jesus!
Dr. Baedeker delighted in his missionary journeys in the Ararat vicinity, in spite of the difficulty of travel and tremendous risk to his life. All that mattered to him were the downtrodden in need of cheer, and the Christians to be nourished with the word of God.
A man’s foes will be those of his own householdBelievers will suffer terrible things for the sake of Jesus' name
A Stundist believer from Russia shared with Dr. Baedeker the great persecution his family had to endure because of their faith in Jesus; not from the government or State church but from a merciless mob of neighbors, and even more sadly, an enemy within; his own brother.
As the curtains drew on the life of Dr. Baedeker, his last moments were not spent in fear of death. Rather with joy he continued to declare, until his triumphant exit, "I AM GOING IN TO SEE THE KING IN HIS BEAUTY!"
Dr. Baedeker had a most interesting conversation with a Muslim. The man wanted to know what Baedeker thought about the prophet Mohammed. The doctor answered by asking another question about Sin, which led the Mohammedan to see the obvious need for the Savior, Jesus Christ.