Funeral Service for Brian William Doecke
Born 10 February 1937; Died 23 October 2011
Funeral in São José dos Campos, State of São Paulo, Brazil
24 October 2011, 10am
Last Days of Brian:
Brian came to São José dos Campos on the 8th of August and was having alternative treatment with Graviola (a leaf of a tree of the Amazons) and Tivallec (a multi-vitamin) and he stayed in the home of Maurilio and Dalete.
On Thursday the 13th of October he began to become very weak and spent most of his time lying down.
On Sunday the 16th he didn’t go to the meeting and at night they conversed with him that it would be good to go to hospital and be put on the drip for a bit and he agreed to go. First of all, he was at the hospital called “Holly House” for three days. In this time, he made three contacts within the hospital. One was a psychologist, the other a young lady disappointed in the churches and another married lady whose husband was sick (Fatima).
On the 20th of October he was transferred to the Hospital in Jacarei where he received adequate treatment for his case. He said that Doctor Eduard inspired confidence. This woman, Fatima, visited him at this hospital and was at the funeral parlour and also at the funeral service.
On Sunday the 23rd of October, Brian wasn’t feeling well because he felt a lot of pain in his intestine. His kidneys weren’t functioning well. He said to Dalete (She was with him in the hospital in the morning) that he wanted to die. At about 11 am, he asked for Dalete to open the window of the bedroom because he wanted to see the sun and so he fixed his eyes on the sky and asked to hold Dalete’s hand. He squeezed her hand, opened his eyes wide and they seemed so blue and, still fixing his eyes firmly behind the window, went and little by little let her hand loose.
Elpidio began the funeral service with hymn 74 in Portuguese and said:
“This hymn brings memories of Brian because of the music. The original music wasn’t easy. I got to know other music when I was in Spain, but it also didn’t seem beautiful, so it was Brian’s suggestion to change to this music: “I must have the Saviour with me”.
In Jesus I have a friend
Nothing equals His love
His hand is so secure
There’s no other so loyal.
My support is Christ
He will never fail
The one who keeps me is stronger
Than the hosts of sin.
I have deep joy
I live for his Kingdom.
He has conquered me
And will help me to die.
I’ve true peace in Christ
That this world ignored;
He’s never left me
Or abandoned his people.
I owe everything to Christ,
I can see more and more;
Because the Lamb came
And suffered on a cross
Edivaldo Cassemiro prayed:
He gave thanks for the privilege of participating in that hour so solemn of saying goodbye. He gave thanks for the provision of comfort. He gave thanks for the so-perfect plan of God and that he could work in our hearts to understand his plan of life for us. He gave thanks for the work of our brother that he had left behind of sowing and asked for the direction of the Spirit in that hour.
When we received the news of the death of Brian, I remembered what we read in Ecclesiastes 7:1-2, “A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one’s birth. It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart.” For whoever doesn’t know the will and purposes of God, it could be a contradiction when we speak that the Day of death is better, but for anyone that lived according to the plan of God and His will, as Brian did, filling his life with treasures, then leaving the things of this life for eternity and enjoying the eternal joy in it’s completeness is better. Being faithful here in this world is what we enjoy in Eternity more than we can imagine. We have experiences of that when we put the effort in to please God. He gives us to understand that his blessings in Eternity are much above what we can imagine in our human capacity. He was a worker in the work of the Gospel and we would ask the question, who will fill the empty place that he has left here? In Isaiah 6:8 there is a vision of the Kingdom of God, much above the things of this earth. He said:” Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.” His place is empty and who will fill it? Elijah, a man so near to God and bold; he didn’t have fear of being reprehended by the King of Israel. He had in mind to prepare another for his place. We read of Elijah passing by Elisha when he was ploughing with 12 yoke of oxen and he cast his mantle upon him. Elisha ran after Elijah, and Elijah said, “what have I done to thee?” Elisha understood that Elijah would leave that mantle and he could use it one day. Elisha went to say good-bye to his family, killed the oxen, roasted them and ate them together with the others and went out to accompany Elijah. He had said: “Let me, I pray thee, kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow thee.” Elisha understood that he was being called to occupy Elijah’s place. There was great virtue in that mantle. He had seen what Elijah had done and what virtue that mantle had. The good spirit of Elijah passing through the waters he said: “Ask what I shall do for thee, before I be taken away from thee.” And Elisha said, I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me. 2 Kings 2:9-15, Elijah consented and said, “… if thou see me when I am taken from thee, it shall be so unto thee; but if not, it shall not be so.” Elijah knew that he would be taken. It was a prophecy for that day. It says, And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. And Elisha saw it, and he cried, My father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof. And he saw him no more: and he took hold of his own clothes, and rent them in two pieces. He took up also the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and went back, and stood by the bank of Jordan; And he took the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and smote the waters, and said, Where is the LORD God of Elijah? and when he also had smitten the waters, they parted hither and thither: and Elisha went over. And when the sons of the prophets who were to view at Jericho saw him, they said, The spirit of Elijah doth rest on Elisha. This Elisha was willing to accompany and to learn of these privileges, to see things that Elijah had done to obtain this and he was a great man before God and not before men, because they mocked him. Today, thinking of the parting of our brother, a great servant of God, a faithful and dedicated worker, there aren’t words that qualify of all his life before God. We will pray that there will be others to take his place and the place of others that have also passed on.
The heart of my Saviour is tender
This goodbye for me is very personal. Our lives have been intertwined since we were born. We were born in the same hospital and studied at the same school. Brian professed two years before me and went in the work two years ahead of me also. Brian came to Brazil two years before me and now he has gained on me again; always in front of me.
We had good times as children: climbing trees, hunting rabbits and getting up to mischief together. After, when he professed, I believe that touched me. After, when he went out in the work, it made me think more about this subject. One time talking to him he said to me about going to another land; to Brazil. And this also made me think of this subject of going to another land and when I arrived in São Paulo, Brian was waiting for me and I’ve never had such a strong embrace as that one. It gives me nostalgia. I was with him when he had surgery in Australia and after, when he heard about his heart problem he cried and cried, not because of his health problem, but because he thought he wouldn’t return to Brazil. He loved Brazil and the Brazilians and so I’m sure he’s happy to leave his bones here. We were always friends. He was an optimist; he was never discouraged in seeking the lost sheep and felt that everyone would profess. He had hope for all the youth to go out into the work and this has been an inspiration to us as workers. I thought of when God spoke to Joshua and said: “Joshua…, the servant of the LORD”. Joshua 24:29, This was great praise for men. We can have great praise of men and gain crowns, but as Paul wrote, he was awaiting an eternal crown. We can be servants of many things here in this world that takes our heart here, but there is a crown of glory awaiting in the future. The work of the servants (workers) is the best paid for all Eternity. I liked the testimony of Paul to Timothy: 2 Timothy 4:6-8, For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing. His time of departure was near. Philippians 2:17, Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy and rejoice with you all. Paul poured out his life as a sacrifice, as this wine offering on the altar, in the sanctuary, and it gave a better fragrance, that it might be acceptable to God. It’s a good sign when the sacrifice becomes a privilege. The sacrifice of a life is a privilege before God. When we begin, it is a sacrifice. When young people think the way is narrow, they should look forward and not to the sides. And die in the work, not everyone manages to do that, but it is a great privilege. Paul also spoke of fighting the good fight and also about the race. He inspired himself with the athletes of Rome: To start is important, but arriving is what determines if we are victorious. In a marathon, the greatest danger is the middle of the road, but Brian arrived with honour and kept the faith. Soldiers are known for their discipline and discipline is important for the people of God and more still for the servants (workers). No one gains victory without discipline. In Hebrews 12:2, it says:” Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith”; and in Psalm 90:9, For all our days are passed away in thy wrath: we spend our years as a tale that is told. It speaks of life being like a tale told and in this book the author is Christ. The end of the story and the last chapter are important. The authors like to give a happy ending to their tales and God also wants to give a happy ending to everyone. I believe that the faith of Brian began with his grandparents, then his parents and, after that, his own experience with God. It was his faith that helped him to make the choices to follow Jesus, go in the work, trust, and it’s faith that takes us to the end. Those that finish well will be sitting near the throne. And how Jesus endured the cross, despised the shame and kept the faith. A life spent like that is of much value, also in helping others. A part of our recompense will be because of the people we have managed to help. Brian was more of an evangelist than a shepherd. He never missed an opportunity to transmit this and never lost his hopes. I’m glad to be here at this goodbye. We lost a good friend, a brother. We will feel his loss, but may others be helped.
Come, Let Us Follow Jesus.
I have appreciated all that we’ve heard already. As Colin said, we were children together, we played together and did mischief together. Our parents suffered quite a bit with 8 children to bring up, but the things of God were always in first place in our home. So we had the privilege of being brought up with much care. We learnt to serve and accompany zealous parents. Ever since the cot, we were listening to the words of God and growing up, started making our choices. Some even say that they heard before they were born. Reading about what is the advantage of being a Jew and Paul making several comments about the advantages of them. I thought of the advantage of being born into homes with the will of God and so that was our privilege when we were young people. I was thinking of the words of God and “Thou hast the words of Life Eternal”. We have listened to the words of life eternal since the cot. We grew and the day in which I accepted the truth, Brian had a cold and wasn’t in that Gospel meeting. (It was a Friday.) He was shocked when, in the meeting on Sunday, I took part. He asked mum what had happened and she told him that I had got up in the Gospel meeting. So he hid for the rest of that Sunday. He was having a struggle and in the Gospel meeting in the afternoon he professed. So he began 3 days after me. He was very zealous with the family and brought the girls in our home into line. I had to be the peacemaker. He had this gift of a preacher and always wanted to bring people into line, whether they wanted to or not. That was his gift. Philippians 1:6, “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:” Humbling ourselves and making ourselves subject to God with all pleasure; making us see that the will of God is much better. God works to make us more and more humble; willing to obey from the heart. The purpose of God, the plan of God is to give us time for us to prepare for Eternity. I have spoken, that if it was for us not to go into the Kingdom, it would be better to not have been born. The plan of God is that all might enter the Heavenly Kingdom. No-one is going to be able to say that He didn’t make necessary provision to save our soul. God gave his Son, he did everything and if we don’t make the most of it, it won’t be God’s fault. Hebrews 5:9, “And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;” This was the provision made by God for Eternal Salvation, so that our living is worthwhile here in this world. A visiting worker spoke that we should give many thanks to God that he awoke us and made us see the way to live to please God and reach the Heavenly home. Brian never looked back. Many years ago I joked that I wanted to retire and they don’t let me and he said, “I want more years in this work to help other young people to learn to evangelize and sow their lives as seed”. After the special meetings, I stayed a few days with him, but I was no good for anything, but we were together and I felt that I lacked, but it was really tiredness. One thing he said very sad, “I don’t think I’m going to be able to be in a field again. I don’t think I’m going to be able to be a pioneer again”. The will of his life was to help others obtain a part in the heavenly Kingdom. 2 Peter 1:3-4, According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” All that we have of value we receive of the God; everything that we can use, he has given us. It rests with each one of us to know how to use the gifts he has given us. We remember those that are in Australia at this hour, accompanying us. We were taught to never leave anything, not even the health of our parents to affect the work. Brian never let this happen. We think that he could’ve gone to Australia to consult specialist doctors; take out the stomach, but he chose to not do surgery. He had a little problem in his heart. He chose to finish here in Brazil and to leave a good example. And so when he put something in his head it was difficult to change it: You people know that. Carl said he didn’t want to leave his bones in the States to serve for a testimony. We appreciate everything that was done in his favour here in São José dos Campos by the friends and the fellow-workers. And now we are going to do our part going forward. Hymn 412 When life is ended At the Cemetery – Hymn 258 Lord within my heart doth dwell (Leslie spoke that the only lesson is to be faithful unto death.) 32 Workers Present: Elpidio, Leslie, Colin Sanders, Edivaldo, José Roberto, Peter, Wander, Marciel, Marcos, Laercio, Ricardo C., Ricardo A., Rafael, Josue, Anderson Judith, Tercilia, Evadney, Daizi, Maria, Marta, Elenice, Silvania, Claudia, Andréa, Benia, Dileuza, Solimar, Izabel, Carol, Wanessa, Rosangela There were about 250 friends present.