March 1, 2009
Dear Faithful Friends,
I send you greetings in the Name of our Loving Lord Jesus, from Whom we have life and blessings.
I want to express to you my deepest appreciation for your continued support while I am ministering half-way around the world from you in North America. It is such a delight for me to be on the mission field with those I love in Jesus. The weather now is about 90 degrees every day, and there is no rain this time of year. The economy in India and Southeast Asia, like America, is suffering, and there will be widespread dire poverty and starvation if this recession continues.
Our gospel crusades have gone well, and many Hindus have found Jesus as Savior and Lord, and have taken baptism. Unlike in America where there is little or no persecution of Christians, in India when a Hindu converts to Christianity and takes baptism, he or she is usually ostracized from family members, and often openly persecuted by the villagers. But this makes conversion a real decision, and it is truly a life-changing experience.
God has given me favor with the Hindus and Buddhists throughout Asia. I must tell you I feel more at home with these gentle-spirited folks than when I am back in America. In India, I have dedicated many little babies to the Lord, and feel honored when a precious couple tells me that they have named the new baby “Johannes,” in appreciation for my ministry to them and the villagers. There are even a few pastors whom I dedicated to the Lord about 30 years ago, who were named after me, and who now are actively ministering in their villages.
I deeply appreciate your prayers as I continue to expand my ministry in this part of the world. I recently ministered in Jakarta, Indonesia for the first time, and was so warmly received. I want you to know that when I travel in the ministry, I live as frugally as possible. I was able to find a hostel in Jakarta for eight dollars a night. If I have a bed with clean sheets, it is adequate for me. I eat simple meals of rice and curry. Really, I love the Asian people so much, and I would prefer to spend the rest of my life among them, and not return to America. But I have family in America whom I miss and who miss me, and of course I need to return to the Mission office to keep everything operating well.
I want to assure you that I remember your requests in prayer. While I am in Asia, it is too difficult to send all the mail to me and respond back to you. But after all of these years, I remember your names and continue to pray for the requests that you sent me during the six months I was in America.
Dr. Johannes Maas, President