Our interlocutor is Robert Maasbach, an English pastor and evangelist, who has recently been in Armenia.
Pastor Maasbach, the story of your life shows that it is not enough to live in a Christian family for salvation. How did it happen that you dedicated your life to God?
My father and mother were always praying for me, but I didn’t want to hear about it. When I was 14 I made friends with a guy named Fred, who was 10 years older than me. I didn’t have the habit of sinning, but I learned from him to smoke and attend clubs. When I would return home my mother would look at me and say: “You have been with Fred. You look like him, talk like him and act like him: this is not you”.
I knew that my mother was right but I didn’t want to hear anything about it. So my mother had to wait four years until I turned 18 years old. Four years is not such a long time, but it lasted long for my mother because I had drifted away from God.
One day my mother said: “Robert, you need to dedicate your whole life to Jesus!” I continued to attend church but I didn’t live for the Lord. You can go to church, even cry and be sorry for your mistakes but at the same time you may not have salvation and be born again. It is not enough to be sorry for your mistakes, you have to become a new creation.
So, the day before my birthday I had a car accident, as a result of which I broke my neck in two places. I felt that my time was coming to an end and I had to change but I didn’t want to hear about it. And when we do not want to listen, God is forced to stop us. Four days after the accident my father came to the hospital and asked me: “Don’t you think that it is God’s grace that you haven’t died?”. We prayed together and I dedicated my life to Jesus. So, God stopped me and seven days after the accident I was discharged from hospital, healed and born again, and I began to serve Jesus.
Your father is Johan Maasbach. He is a man who is considered the father of revival and faith in Holland, and it can be said that he was the first example of a servant for you. What is the greatest experience in your ministry and personal life that you have gained with the help of your father?
Faith was the greatest gift of my father and he simply trusted God. He became a born again Christian when he was only 9 years old.
When my father turned 16 he began to work on the ship. At that time he would spend his spare time reading the Bible. My father would read the Bible at the top of the ship like the Apostle Paul. Those years were a Bible school for him. My father was an ordinary man but he had a strong faith, a lot of love and kindness. And I think that it was my father’s greatest influence on me. I was saved through him.
I am also eternally grateful to my father for the woman who is by my side. When I was going to get married my father helped me understand what the will of the Lord was in that matter and not to make a wrong decision because the person I chose was not the one that God had prepared for me.
You received a call from God to go to England and create a church there, which you have fulfilled. Tell us a little about your church in England. What ministries are there in your church?
I was about 18 years old when I became a born again Christian. Someone asked me to tell how Jesus had saved me and healed my broken neck. After I shared my testimony I saw a vision on my way home: I was walking towards Heaven alone, and then I saw a light coming from the sky, and I was filled with joy. But when I looked around I saw many people standing in the darkness. I started crying out to God, saying that I didn’t want to go to Heaven alone.
A month later I went to the Bible school to prepare for the ministry. When I was 26 years old, Jesus spoke to me through His Spirit, saying: “Robert, I am calling on you with My Word!”. And He showed me that I had to move to Great Britain. It was not an easy process because I was a pastor in Holland but obedience is always the best thing. It was something I learned from my father too. Thus, I obeyed God. In 1987 I moved to Great Britain. I had never been there before. In the beginning, I evangelized people.
The Lord was with me and helped me succeed in all my undertakings. In 1989 God put a desire in my heart to create a church in a small town. If you love God you don’t have to worry that you will miss His will. If you love Him He will always speak to you. The Lord told me what to do and I did so. We bought a small house and began to hold services there. There were only three of us at that time. Now we have 500-600 members. God is good.
What word do you have in your heart for Armenia and the Armenian people?
Love God, love one another, and there will be miracles! It is very simple. How to love God? How can we love Him? – By accepting His love. And how do we accept His love? – By believing in His Son, Jesus Christ. This is what God commands us to do. The second chapter of the first Epistle of John says that this is the command of God that we believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and love one another. This is all that we need to do. Believe that Jesus is the Son of God. Love God and love one another!