Robert Mader

Funeral Robert Mäder




Jabulani Dube
We knew Uncle Robert well. We are bereaved. When we met together, he was always with us even when he was unwell. When he wanted to share something, he shared it. When someone was taken from our midst, we mourned with him. To the daughter of Uncle Robert: we spent much time with Robert when he was unwell. It comforted us when we saw that you loved the Lord. We do not know who will close his gap. He was a carpenter who was gifted with his hands. He did much in various places. In Dundee, we needed church benches and Uncle Robert decided on the design and then constructed them for the Dundee church. May those who remain follow in his footsteps. We have lost someone special. On his sickbed, he longed for the Lord to fetch him. One could sense from his manner that he realised heaven was near.

Mr Mäder’s daughter
It is a gift and privilege that I am here. I am glad to be here. I represent my siblings – I have three brothers and I am the only sister. My three brothers received the same talent as my father. They too can work with their hands and build houses. I am sure that they have joined us. I am sure my father would be happy if he knew that I am at his funeral. I could not come when he was alive, it was not possible.

It is wonderful that there are so many young people at this funeral because my father loved young people. I thank you that I can be with you and together say farewell to my father. It is God’s will that I am here. I encourage the young people to follow Jesus, love Him and praise Him. On behalf of my family, thank you for everything you did for him. Thank you that he could live here and serve the Lord in His work.

Mr Heino Stegen
I remember when Robert started making the benches for this auditorium. He had all the experience needed to do this work because of his previous occupations. Robert got the correct information and template for the ergonomics of the bench. These benches were designed according to the best Swiss design. This bench design is the best for people of various sizes, and even handicapped people. We are thankful that Robert was there when these benches were designed. Fanz Huber could probably testify more about the work that was done.

Franz Huber
I greet everyone. It is special for me to stand here. It is a joy for me to do this.

Onkel Robert was the man with whom I spent the most time in my life. From the time I arrived at the mission, 33/34 years ago, I have been with him. When I first visited, I was drawn to him.

After I met the Lord, I knew that I wanted to serve Him full time and with all my heart. I had planned to serve Him in a monastery in Germany. Before I left the mission I asked Uncle Robert, a father, who had left his family, children and sons in Switzerland, just as I had left my family in Germany. We were a father and son. I asked him what I should do. I was not sure that a monastery was really my place. No one said that I should not go to the monastery but that I should pray and ask the Lord what I should do. The Lord said, ‘My sheep hear my voice.’ I asked Onkel Robert what he thought I should do, then we prayed together, and I returned home after which I felt I should return to the mission. The Lord showed me that I should come for 6 months. I wrote a letter to Onkel Robert and told him that I was coming. We shared many spiritual secrets, and he was a great help to me.

Now as I stand here to bring a message, I will let his heart speak.

I am thankful that I could be with him from the beginning until the end. I spent many hours with him in the work over many years. It was a blessing to be with him. Many people could stand here today and say what a blessing it was to be with him. Many young people liked to work with him in the workshop. Uncle Robert and I were good workers, but we were quite different, and we had different skills. In the beginning I was too much of a perfectionist. He often said, ‘I am left-handed and you are my right hand.’ Left and right hands are different but if they work together, it is for the best. Often Uncle Robert would suggest a particular way of doing something and I thought another way was better, but I felt I should obey, and I benefitted 100%.

He often used the cross to demonstrate a spiritual truth. God is the main beam of the cross. If I am crucified with Christ, He can use me. If the I is still alive, I am worthless to God. I must be crucified with Christ (I am the small crossbeam) This is what each of us must experience. It must be our daily walk with Christ. I have put my will and way of thinking on the cross. This I learned from Uncle Robert.

We often had much too much to do. We would pray and ask the Lord what we should do. Sometimes it seemed to be beyond our control. Some years ago, we tried to catch up with the work and were almost there but we just received more and more. In the morning hours when I was in prayer, I wondered what we could do to cope with the workload. We are trying to catch up, but we failed. It was a burden to me. Uncle Robert often said that we should bring it to the Lord. That morning when I prayed, the Lord spoke to me and said that if we would finish all that had to be done, then we would have everything under control, but He said, ‘Let it be enough that I, the Lord, have control.’ That I learned from Onkel Robert and from the Lord.

Onkel Robert shared this word with us. Behold, surely, I am with you. I am with you always to the very end of the ages. Matthew 28:20

We often said this even if things were tough and everything went wrong – I am with you all the time. The Lord knows our circumstances. He will not leave us but support us. Do not fear. I am with you. That was always wonderful. In tough times Onkel Robert gave us these words. Many like using these words as a shield. They say the Lord will keep me and bless me which is true. Whether it is Covid or whatever circumstances we are faced with, we know the Lord is with us, we have this assurance. In counselling I tell people not to forget what is written here. ‘I cannot overcome, sin is too powerful, I used my phone wrongly again,’ they say. In such circumstances, we should use this word as well. When the temptation comes ask yourself, ‘How can I do this if the Lord is with me now?’ If you give in to sin, how can you sin if the Lord is next to you? This helped me and I pray it will help you because there are many temptations around us. We live in this world. Through Christ we have victory, we can overcome.

Onkel Robert’s daughter gave me his English Bible and as I prepared for this message, I went through his Bible and notes. Philippians 3: 7-11 stood out:

But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— 10 that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.

Onkel Robert practised this. For Christ’s sake, he counted all loss that was precious to him in Switzerland. He rather helped others than do something good for himself. If it was suggested that he get a few new clothes he said that he had enough and he would give the money to others.

10 that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death… Sometimes it was difficult thinking about what he had Switzerland, but he strengthened himself. He highlighted at different places …. Be prepared to suffer. He was strong. He had strength and power. He gave everything to the Lord. When he got older, and the cancer progressed he often had the longing to go home. Quite often he asked us to pray that the Lord would take him home although at the end, not as often. We said to him that that the Lord would take him in His appointed time and Onkel Robert accepted this. This strong man was bedridden and could no longer use his hands. Until the end, the Lord reminded him to be crucified with Him. In his last few days he reached the point where he was quiet and ready to go. What he preached; he did with joy. It is nice to serve the Lord in our full strength but if our bodies are weak will we still do it with a consecrated heart and still say not my will but thy will be done?

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, fools despise wisdom and instruction. Hear, my son, your father's instruction and forsake not your mother's teaching…Proverbs 1:7,8

There are many children who have parents. Older people also have parents and even if we do not have biological parents, we have spiritual parents. Do we still listen to their instructions, or do we despise them? If we are adults, we know how to do things and we do them in our own way. ‘My parents/spiritual parents are old fashioned, we have a new way,’ we say. This was one of the points the Lord showed me in the beginning when I came here. I had never had strife with my parents. My older brothers and sisters fought with them because it was the hippies and Beatles wave when young people changed. But by God’s grace, He changed the situation totally. I somehow got things right without making a big fuss with my parents and I did things my way. When I came here I watched the families and listened and God said to me that I had never honoured my parents the way I should have. I made it right and I had the most precious fellowship with my parents to the end.

Hear, my son, your father's instruction and forsake not your mother's teaching,for they are a graceful garland for your head and pendants for your neck.

We have lost this today. We have other ornaments – hairstyles, hair dye, chains around the neck and we show off. We lack what is really an honour to have. They will be graceful ornaments on your head and chains about your neck.

For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken. Psalm 62:1,2

This was one of Onkel Robert’s trademarks - he did not speak much. We often just waited quietly. When I had spiritual questions, he just looked at me and prayed. He would often pray, and then the Lord would answer my question. We often said that we should not speak too much because we must give an account for every word spoken. When we were in a group, one person spoke at a time, not together.

I remember once when we were alone in the workshop and the biggest machine in our shop was new. That was over 30 years ago. We set the machine, and all was fine and then he wanted to switch it on, but it did not work. We checked the fuses, tried again, but it did not work. We checked basically everything that could be wrong but it still did not work. He did not get upset. He said that we should pray. We sat in his room in the workshop where he slept and lived. We shared with each other. That was the first time I opened my heart brought everything to the light. When we finished, he prayed. We got up and he said that maybe the machine would work now. We switched it on, and it worked. He never got upset.

I could continue and many others could also continue. This was his life. On the one hand one cries but on the other hand one rejoices because he has gone ahead. Now we take his earthly body to the ground. We will also go this way and may we be ready to meet the Lord.


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