What a year was 1932. John Kraus was born on the 24th of May. This year was also one of the worst experienced years of the Great Depression that people lived through. With all the trouble and wars which they suffered—it is so wonderful that they are still here to share their experiences with the younger generations.
Brother John’s favourite verse is Psalm 37:25, “I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.”
We wish to convey our best wishes and Gods blessings to Brother John. May you continue to enjoy God’s bountiful care through the coming years.
Alfredo Carlos Sas
1st April 2022
Due to extra knowledge available and a better quality of life, man’s lifespan seems to have increased. We praise God that several of our brothers and sisters have reached ninety and plus years and are continuing to bless us with their experiences and words of wisdom. These folk have not only lived their childhood years during The Great Depression but also experienced a hard time during World War II and are still defying all odds and happily soldiering on.
My father, Alfredo Carlos Sas, is one of these extraordinary, resilient people. He was born into an extremely poor family in Santa Catarina State, Brazil. Although he was a very frail boy. During his growing years, God had big plans for his life, He had a special work for dad to do. Being the fifth child of eight and living a simple life on a farm helped prepare him for a life of simplicity and adversity. As he physically grew, so did his love for God grow. While still in his teen years, he decided to dedicate his life for the service of the Lord.
Not long after his baptism, Dad started working as a colporteur. He also worked in the printing house as a bookbinder, then linotypist and printer. Having done an oratory course proved very beneficial to my father when he founded and was the main speaker for the radio broadcasting program of our church in Brazil.
After entering the Bible work, he was sent to Brasilia to pioneer the work there. In 1966 Dad was ordained for the ministry and worked in Sao Paulo for a short time before being transferred to Belo Horizonte, where he stayed until he was transferred to Australia, at the end of 1969.
Dad ministered here in Australia as the Australasian Union Conference President from 1973 to 1981, and during those years he also cared for overseas fields in the Asia Pacific Region, which often took him away from our family for many months at a time.
In 1987 he was transferred to the General Conference Headquarters in Roanoke, Virginia, USA, to serve as the General Conference Secretary, a position which he filled for two terms. Then from 1995 to 2003 his final appointment was to the General Conference Presidency which took him right up to his retirement, although, until this day dad is still active corresponding with people on spiritual matters. Over his working years, he wrote over forty booklets and books on doctrine, health, denominational history, stories for children, and a daily devotional. Included was his autobiography, My Life Story, which is available for purchase from RLPA.
Fifty-six seems to be a significant number for my dad; he served the Lord in his employment for 56 years, and during these years he visited 56 countries, finally retiring on the 1st of June 2004.
Music also played a big part in my dad’s life. While young and still at home, he taught himself music from a syllabus. As a self-taught musician, he learned to play the violin and mandolin, and later was teaching those instruments. While working, Dad joined an instrumental group in the Sao Paulo Church. My father also loved singing; he has a rich deep bass voice. Dad was the founder and conductor of the central choir in Sao Paulo Church from 1951 to 1960. He composed six songs and arranged music for several hymns. Just prior to retiring, he played a big part in putting together our current church hymnbook, the Reformation Hymnal. Until this day, he loves to listen to sacred music and finds it very relaxing after a day of activity to just sit and watch a sacred music DVD, especially on Friday nights.
The preaching of the gospel was not the only important interest in Dad’s life. He fell in love with a beautiful young woman whom he knew from childhood. They grew up together in the same neighbourhood, and in 1956 he married this love of his life: Catharina Bende. Together they had four children: Lidia, Charles, Deise (Deceased) and Rubem. During most of our mum’s final years of life, Dad was able to care for her at home, but for the last two years when this was no longer possible, he was still with her for a major part of each day. Sadly, after 64 years of being married together, Catharina fell asleep in Jesus on 23rd January, 2020. We eagerly await that wonderful morning when we shall all be together once again.
My father is blessed to currently have the company of three out of four of his children and their spouses, also eight grandchildren, three grandsons-in-law and 5 great-grandsons.
I would like to thank God for caring for my father for over ninety years. These years have truly been such rich and fulfilled years for him, and I pray it will continue to be so. I am very grateful for his guidance and wisdom while we were growing up.
May each of us appreciate the legacy that these godly persons bring into our lives! May God continue to bless and care for each one as they face tomorrow.
Congratulations, Dad, on reaching such a milestone, your 90th Birthday! We love you very much and pray God will continue to be your strength and guide.
~ Lidia Voncina