E. J. John

Enoch Jonathan John went to be with the Lord in the early hours of Sunday, July 13th, 2008. He was 55 and had been working in YWAM Pune since his marriage to Suman in December 1995. They were our neighbours and friends during the early years of our own marriage, when we lived in the same housing society, Sham Sundar.

‘EJ’, as he was universally known, and Suman were leading a ministry called Sahayak Hath (Helping Hands) for all their married life. ‘EJ’ embodied the ‘Servant Leader’ so clearly, he was always ready to serve, not only his wife, Suman, but any of the YWAM Pune Staff in both small and large ways. Also through the Sahayak Hath ministry he touched many, many lives. He was a dear friend to many and a loving, gentle, and kind husband to his wife Suman.

One of the members of the Sahayak Hath ministry wrote the following poem, in memory of ‘EJ’:

S – Sahayak Hath means helping hands.

A – As a ministry to help the down trodden.

H – Having a committed staff of friends.

A – All working as God’s faithful lambs.

Y – Yearning with Love and desire to help.

A – Although bearing hardship to self but

K – keeping in mind the glory of God.

H – Hopefully blessed is this ministry.

A – Anchored by EJ John and Suman.

T – Together with God’s guidance and inspiration.

H– Have brought this ministry to realization.

In a few days it will be one year since ‘EJ’ went to his heavenly home and in that time we have all missed ‘EJ’s smiling face and kind words and his deep spiritual insights. As we celebrate his life, and the many ways ‘EJ’ touched and blessed us as the YWAM Pune Family on July 13th 2009 we remember that he is now ‘in that better place’ seeing The Lord face to face, which was always his desire for each one he met.

Jonathan R. Portwood.


Video Montage of EJ’s Funeral.

6 thoughts on “E. J. John”

  1. Thank you so much for sending this. I am glad you are doing this memorial. Here are my thoughts:

    “I will never forget the first time I met EJ John. It was outside the Mumbai Airport. Him and Suman had come up from Pune in the old Mercy Ministry van to pick us up after our 3 month visit to the States. We knew Suman was getting married, but we had never met EJ. From that first greeting I knew EJ was the right man for Suman. He was kind, gentle and soft-spoken. His servant heart was evident and his care for people and for Suman was very clear. As the days and years passed on EJ brought stability and growth to the ministry of Sakayak Hath. People are physically alive today because of EJ’s love and care. People are alive spiritually today because of EJ’s love and care.

    Even though EJ was thoroughly Tamil, he learned and spoke Marathi. I loved his dosa & chutney. What fond memories David, the children and I have of sitting at their kitchen table eating that luscious food! I do not understand why God chose to call EJ home at the time He did. EJ’s job must have been finished. Ours is not. I can think of no one who more illustrated with his life, “love God and love your neighbor” as EJ did. May we follow his example.”


  2. Rosie and I were deeply shocked and saddened to hear about EJ’s sudden, and totally unexpeced death. He and Suman had been our neighbours and friends during the first years of our marriage, when we lived in a flat in the same housing society, Sham Sundar. They were a real encouragement to us both over the years and EJ blessed us in so many ways.

    I was privileged to count ‘EJ’ as a friend, though we never got to spend as much time together as, he or I would have liked. I remember talking to him just a few days before his death, saying that we must make time in our busy schedules to meet and fellowship together. I regret deeply that, that was never to happen.

    We will always remember EJ’s love of the Lord and his loving concern for those around him. He was a light shining in the darkness and touched so many lives.

    Jonathan R. Portwood

    SpiceCom – Regional Communications Team



  3. I knew EJ as a gentle friend who served our Pune ocmmunity with administrational support for many years. It was exciting then to see him launch into helping with Suman’s community work and to begin to launch his project to help people with addictions. EJ went through disappointments and sadness but his love for the poor and for his staff and community friends was remarkable. We salute you EJ and continue to admire your amazing work to help the poor Suman. Love, Rakesh

  4. Paola & My self will never forget E.J. john. once I was attending my sister in Delhi after her Brest cancer operation , after that I was to leave for Nepal next day. I got a call form Paola she was really sick and how to take care for Martin & Ayelen. One name came to my mind EJ John I send Medical prescription for Paola by SMS to E.J John. That’s all I had to do. E.J. took care form there came home brought Medicines for Paola food afternoon tea he attended her very well it speaks a lot. Our children have good memories of E.J Martin use to wrestle with E.J. I have memories personally during Tsunami Ravi, E.J & my self went to Chennai for Tsunami help. We went to one restaurant ate on Banana leaves. E.J. invites our car driver to have lunch with us since he was driving long day for us. we did work together at many occasions. Before he died , E.J came over with his team to help us shift our house. I remember our last lunch with him in our new house Dal, rice and egg curry. When we thanked him he said it is a pleasure to serve. This is my last memory of him, those words in my ear. Two days later E.J. was gone to be with the Lord. E.J. You have touched many lives. Blessings. Rajan, Paola, Martin & Ayelen Dass

  5. It’s been more than a year since E.J. left us to be with the Lord. He was a simple person, a friend and I miss him…

    E.J., along with his wife Suman, was very hospitable. I stayed with them a couple of times and it felt like home. They were very hospitable and had a wonderful heart to serve others. Thank you E.J., for showing us what it is to serve God with a true servant heart!


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