My Beloved Friend, Daniel

April 9, 2021

Today a memorial service was held in Wattwil, Switzerland, for a man I was blessed to call my friend. Daniel Bucher left this mortal life on 16 March 2021. Our friendship spanned many years and many places as evidenced by these two photos. The first was taken in Sydney, Australia, in 1998, and the second in Paris, France, in 2014. His photo appears many times in this website because of the numerous classes and missions he participated in. I am thankful that my treasury of memories has given me a place of refuge these days.

This morning, one particular incident comes to mind. You see, forming the ministry Workers Together With Him was never in my plans. It was (and I can hear the voice of Daniel's wife, Tresa, as I write this) a necessity. I was very content with the work I was doing for another ministry. The Lord was using me to bring their classes to new audiences, and I was helping them to finally publish books that had sat dormant for years. The situation also gave me plenty of opportunities to teach and to write my own books. In many ways it was ideal. Anyone who knows me at all knows I have never aspired to be "the guy up front." But a situation arose in which I knew I had to say something, and I knew saying it would get me fired from that job. It wasn't an easy decision. I had a wife and young family to support. I had a great desire to serve the Lord, and a great sense of appreciation and loyalty to the man who founded that ministry. But he was no longer running things, and as an executive member of that church board, I knew I had a duty to fulfill.

I remember the day I told my wife what I intended to do. No, I didn't know what I would do next, but I was fully persuaded that the Lord – and not that job – was my sufficiency. Thankfully, Nelly trusted both the Lord and me, and she didn't try to persuade me to kowtow to anyone just to keep the money trickling in. I did what I felt I had to do, and sure enough, I was fired and a smear campaign against me was set into motion. But on that same day, a floral gift was delivered to our house that had been ordered all the way from Australia. The card said, "Thank you for your years of service." It was from Daniel and his family. The timing was exquisite – not surprising, I suppose, since Daniel was a master chef.

That happened more than twenty years ago, but I still remember what it meant to me and how it let me know that the Lord was not going to forget or forsake me. Amazingly enough, within a week a whole new set of doors began to open for me to serve the Lord, something that has continued to this day. And that is why I founded Workers Together With Him – to give me the legal standing I needed to do that work.

If sending that note was the ONLY thing Daniel ever did for me, I'd be forever grateful (The flowers must have been for Nelly!). But it was just one of so many things he did to bless me and my family, always without prompting, always dismissing his acts of kindness and generosity as if they were commonplace in this world. You and I know better.

I have never experienced the devastation I felt when I heard of Daniel’s passing – or, to be more accurate, the day after I heard. The first day I was numb with shock and disbelief. I imagine it is what a person feels when they realize they have just been in a car accident. The next day the reality of the situation hit me, and I was inconsolable. I sat by myself on our porch swing and mindlessly strummed my guitar just trying to breathe. Eventually and very unexpectedly, a song came through from someplace deep inside my soul. The words and melody were born so suddenly that I thought I must have heard it before. I remember thinking that I needed to get off that swing and go inside and write it down before I forget it. I had to play it about 50 times before I could finish without breaking down. The recording isn’t very good and I'm pretty sure my guitar is out of tune, but this is my tribute to my friend, a man the likes of whom I will not meet again. Here are the words to this song I wish I never had to write:


How I wish I never had to write this song
Of how it feels to be still here when you are gone.
I know you’re in a better place,
And I still have to run my race,
How I wish I never had to write this song.

How I wish you never had to say goodbye
And leave me here to stare in space and wonder why.
I know you’re in a better place,
And I still have to run my race.
How I wish you never had to say goodbye.

Yes, I know how this story ends,
But now is now, and then is then.
There was so much we planned to do.
It won’t be the same without you.

How I wish that I could talk to you again,
And tell you what it meant to me to be your friend.
I know you’re in a better place,
And I still have to run my race.
How I wish I never had to write this song.

I would also like to share with you two presentations I put together for Daniel's family and for his memorial service. The first slide show is accompanied by the song "Schutzängel" by the Swiss band, Plüsch. That song was recommended to me by Daniel's daughter, Tashi. The second slide show is accompanied by the song "We Will Meet Again" by my favorite singer/songwriter, Pierce Pettis.

I hope these things are a blessing to you, and that they spark your own memories of this very special man.

In the service of His Majesty, the King of kings.



Tim's song for Daniel, "How I Wish" audio video

Memorial Video 1: "Schutzängel"

Memorial Video 2: "We Will Meet Again"

I highly recommend Daniel's sermon from 2011, FACING FAILURE.



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