Faithprints are stories of faith of people looking back and seeing how God has worked in their lives. God's sovereign footprints have left a mark. Bruce Geeves spoke with Robin Smith from Launceston.
What is your earliest memory?
A clear memory as a four-year-old with my brother going to sleep on a stretcher at pre-school. On the way home we would watch trains and once a friend's hat blew off and landed on a carriage. And once I dropped my torch in the water and saw it shining underwater.
What do you remember about your schooldays?
Leaving primary school when the war was on. Used to ride my bike in snow and often explored off the road; sometimes diverting to look at downed German planes.
Do you remember your first job?
In the war after school I was working on the national farm scheme for sixpence an hour. Farmers often gave more because we worked hard and my sister was pretty. During the war I also worked in the post office and enjoyed the banter going on.
What game or activity did you enjoy as a child?
I played soccer in a committed way and also played it in the Army. In 1946 in Southhampton I built my own boat using parts from RAF planes. I made the sails by hand from old barrage balloon fabric .
When were you conscious of God? Where were you when you first heard about Jesus and faith?
When I was 11 I went to an evangelistic campaign and heard the inspiring Welsh preacher, William George, who gave an invitation.
What is your idea of a relaxing time?
I like making and restoring things or doing anything mechanical. Actually, I am very fortunate in that I enjoyed work and being a missionary I had opportunity to build and do all sorts of technical things I always used to do my own photo processing and did this together with my wife.
Is there a special place where you are reminded of God or somewhere in your house that is an oasis for your thoughts?
Nothing is more powerful than being on the helm of a yacht or ship when the sun comes up - a new day and God will be there. You look at the chart and think ‘where am I' and we need to do that in a spiritual quest. We now rely on GPS which could mean God's Positioning System! I enjoy everything in Creation. Even though Man is sometimes a blight on creation.
What do you enjoy about being a Christian?
I love the testimony of transformed lives in people I have met and know and love. I enjoy some sense of certainty but that can also disturb you as you try not to be complacent. It has had a major influence on my marriage and has generally shaped my thinking.
Why did you become a Christian?
I went to this convention with my sister and the speaker asked who wanted to accept Jesus as Saviour. Because she went forward I went forward too.
What bit of advice would you pass on to a new Christian?
Read the Bible and pray. Ask how does God speak to you. Use Scripture Union reading notes.
What is a significant piece of scripture for you?
I get a lot from the ‘Parable of the Talents'.
What Christian book have you found helpful?
Anything by John Stott and Martyn Lloyd Jones.
What are the most important priorities in life for you now?
People always matter, and my family. Progressive thinking is important too, for any organisation.
If you could invite six people (living or not) to a celebratory dinner, who would they be?
John Stott, Martyn Lloyd Jones, Jessica Watson, my wife Elizabeth and my children. N.B. Our last celebratory dinner was my wife's 80th and we had 50 + guests.