Eric Johnson recounts:
My friend Dave was a missionary in California in the 90s and met a baptismal candidate at Home Town Buffet with his companion. They discussed the baptism happening the next day. Dick saw the missionaries and went to their table for 5 minutes to introduce himself. Dave is a big guy and wanted to punch him.
But what he said in 5 minutes rocked Dave’s world. The missionary candidate bowed out. Dave could not get DC 82:7 out of his mind that Dick had shared. When he returned from the mission field, he left and embraced atheism.
Years later Christ came into his life In 2011, I had met Dave and wanted to introduce Dave to Bill McKeever. Dave’s mission president was Jeffrey R. Holland who made the missionaries read Bill’s book Answering Mormons’ Questions to study “anti Mormon” arguments. When Bill and I drove up to the eatery in Bill’s 20 year old truck, Dave watched out the window. When we came to the table, Dave asked, “Where is your Mercedes?” Holland had told the missionaries that Bill wrote his book for the money and he lived in a mansion with fancy cars.
At lunch, Dick’s name was brought up and Dave still hated him despite Dave recently becoming a Christian. So Bill took out his cell phone and speed dialed Dick and handed the phone to Dave When Dick answered, Dave fumbled around and said he had met Dick 20 years before at this Home Town Buffet “Oh, are you the missionary with the dark blue eyes?” Dick asked “I’ve been praying for you.”
Whoosh! Dave and Dick became long lost friends on Facebook, and Dick called Dave every year on Dave’s birthday until Dick passed away a few years ago. It’s how God puts pieces together, testimony to His incredible sovereignty.
Dick’s close friends called him Papa [Baer].