“My hope of heaven is sure”

I was fortunate enough to be born into a church-going family.  What’s more, the Gospel was preached at that church and I was taught the Bible at Sunday School and in youth meetings.  When I left school, I went to university 200 miles from home.  Life was full – study, sport and socializing.  I rarely attended a church.  The next adventure was Africa.  For a year I taught English and coached the football team in a Malawian secondary school.  I was a volunteer with VSO.  Some of the VSOs were real Christians, and so were Mr and Mrs Chilambo, fellow teachers in the school.  Their lives spoke to me.  Without TV and in a completely different culture, I had time to reflect.  I knew I had had my fill of keeping in with the “in crowd” and I knew that making a pile of money was not my burning ambition.  After all, I’d seen folk in one of the poorest countries in the world who had a contentment that I didn’t have.

Back home in UK I got a good job, I married the girl I loved and we lived in a pleasant home.  I had it made! Nevertheless, I was restless.  We started attending churches, various denominations, but they had in common a lack of spiritual life.  It was an unbeliever, a colleague at work, who introduced me to Heath Church!  There we heard “the old, old story of Jesus and his love”.  This time I was listening hard.  I had had enough of trying to live my life my way.  I knew I had turned my back on God.  I knew I didn’t deserve His love.  I trusted in the Son of God who had lived and died to save a sinner like me.  In the grace of God, my wife, Rose, was saved at about the same time.

That was in 1974 when I was 25.  We had been married two years.  38 years on we have 3 children and 6 grandchildren.  We have known our ups and downs.  For 8 years I suffered from a debilitating illness.  I have failed my Saviour often.  He has never left me nor forsaken me.  My hope of heaven is sure because it is in Him and not my puny efforts.