I realised that I had been born a sinner, and going to church did not make you a Christian
All I can say is that God has been very good to me. I was brought up hearing the message of the Bible and was very familiar with it. I had always regarded myself as a Christian but it was when I left home at 18 to join the RAF in 1952 that there was a real change in my life.
I was a driver for the RAF and whilst driving though the Suffolk countryside I passed a church which advertised a gospel service. I attended the service and Mr Rapheal, the preacher, invited me to his home afterwards to meet his family and share a meal. Both Mr and Mrs Rapheal were very active church workers and their lives were a real challenge to my Christian life.
After two years national service I returned home and continued with my parents and sister to attend our home church at Sandfields, Aberavon where John Thomas was the new minister. Under his ministry I began to grow as a Christian. I realised that I had been born a sinner, and going to church did not make you a Christian. Becoming a Christian meant trusting in the death of the Lord Jesus upon the cross for me, where he took my sin upon himself becoming my substitute, saving me from hell itself. Through his work I would be freely pardoned and be received into heaven – to a place prepared for me. Now that was what made me a Christian.
But there is such a thing as backsliding and sadly like the prodigal son we can wander away and our love for God can grow cold. In January 1961 I got married which proved to be a disaster and my marriage did not even last a year. I also left the family business and followed my mother’s side of the family into farming. For some years as a single person I continued farming but my heart was not really in it because of my broken marriage. Eventually I got into the motor business in Port Talbot taking over a property of my mother’s, my father having died in 1963.
It was there I met Margaret who came to work for me with a number of other Christian ladies. But like me, she had wandered away from what she believed. We became friendly and eventually we were married. The motor business came to an end when our property was demolished to make way for the M4 motorway flyover. We then returned to the land I still owned at Dunvant to start a riding and garden centre. It was then we entered a period in our lives which showed again how gracious and merciful God is.
Two Christian ladies invited us to attend Mount Pleasant Church in Swansea. Mr Morris was the pastor and under his ministry we came back to the Lord and by his great love and grace he has kept us over the years since.
During all our time away from God, we had found no peace or joy. You cannot love the world and God. But we are ever amazed at God’s great love, that like the prodigal, he welcomed us home when we confessed our sins – like the Bible says, he is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.