We have to sadly report that due to the passing away of Maj-Lis Johansson on 11th December 2022, Maj-Lis Johansson’s ministry in Portugal was effectively closed. The family’s wishes were that the project should close and the leftover resources will be disbursed to other missionary activities in Portugal.
Maj-Lis Johansson was a very dynamic and talented missionary born on 25th April 1939. Maj-Lis Johansson had chosen to follow her Lord Jesus Christ from a very early age and while Maj-Lis was working as a nurse / missionary in a clinic in Algeria, she met her husband Eskil Johansson who later became the Director of the Ibra Radio Station located in Sines Portugal.
Maj-Lis married Eskil in 1964 in Japan where Eskil was stationed at that time. The first 5 years of their marriage was extremely intense with extensive missionary travel working in over 100 countries before settling in Portugal where Maj-Lis gave birth to her first son Michael.
Siloam first became involved with Maj-Lis Johansson back in 1984 after Richard Norton, Siloam’s UK Director, returned from India. Before this time, Richard Norton had previously met up with Maj-Lis Johansson and her family while working with another international organisation working in Portugal in the 1980s and so Richard revived contact with Maj-Lis Johansson to begin Siloam’s worldwide ministry using Portugal as an important stepping stone.
Through Maj-Lis’ extensive contacts with the Assemblies De Deus Church in Portugal, Siloam became involved in practically helping many pastors in a financial and social way who at that time in 1984 were trying to address the extreme poverty caused by over a million ‘retornados’ and refugees returning to Portugal from previous Portuguese colonial territories. Back in the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, there were many shanty towns and people lived in ‘barracas’ which were only cleared away quite recently. Even though, those poor people living in those former homemade shelters now find themselves living in overcrowded high-rise apartments where their problems persist, even if they didn’t seem to be so visible to the visitor or casual observer.
Eskil her husband was a great personal support and he continued to work for Radio Ibra until his first stroke in 2003. Sadly, in 2008 at the age of 73, Eskil passed away which meant that Maj-Lis did not have the close companionship and support that she had enjoyed throughout her married life with such a dynamic husband.
Maj-Lis had always been an independent and single-minded missionary which most effective missionaries are. She was very much involved in the practical welfare of those she was seeking to reach with the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and Siloam was able to help her in that endeavour by initially providing vanloads of used clothing, wheelchairs and other mobility aids as well as financial support. Her contacts throughout Portugal enabled Siloam to fund a number of projects including children’s Bible camps, Christmas parcel outreaches and other Christian social support.
Through Siloam’s missionary project: 047, we have been privileged since 1984 to provide funds for Maj-Lis’ ministry which will now be directed to other projects in Portugal as the country is still in great social need. Even though becoming a member of the European Union, the Government of Portugal has only helped people in a material way. Refugees / immigrants continue to arrive from Eastern Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Portugal is very much a country in a spiritual void but there are vast opportunities for those who want to use social work, education and medical aid, as a vehicle for the gospel, with which Siloam can assist if approached.
We certainly regret the sad passing away of Maj-Lis Johansson on 11th December 2022 but we rejoice that she is now in the presence of her Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. No doubt she is enjoying all the privileges of a daughter of the Kingdom of God who has done much to please her Creator and Saviour over the many years she has spent in missionary endeavour.
Maj-Lis is succeeded by her son Michael and her twin sons Daniel and Samuel.
The late Maj-Lis Johansson 1939 - 2022