Jean - A lasting faith
Jean was born and brought up in Cardiff. She was born into a home where everyone believed in God and had respect for 'Christian things' but her parents weren't Christians.
Jean lost her mother when she was just three years of age and has no memory of her. She was brought up by her father and sister who was fifteen years older than Jean. One of Jean’s earliest memories was of her sister teaching her the Lord’s Prayer. Jean was five when World War II broke out. Her three older brothers were all in the forces. Thankfully they all returned safely, but Jean remembers the war as being a very frightening time for a young child. In particular she tells of the prayer that she used to say at the end of each day Jean at school and then again with her family at night “God keep us safe this night”. “That really meant something!”
Jean started attending the Sunday School at Gabalfa Baptist Church at the age of five or six with the children of a Christian family who lived next door. Eventually she started to attend the services as well and felt God speaking to her in a very real way. Jean was about 16 when she became convicted of her sin and knew that God had saved her. She wanted to be baptised but her father was against this as he felt there was no need as Jean had been christened as a baby. “I vowed that when I became of age (then 21) I would go through the waters of baptism as a believer.”
In the mean time Jean continued to serve God by becoming a Sunday School teacher. It was about this time that Jean also met Rob, a young Christian man who would later become her husband. It was a great joy to her to finally be baptised with Rob and all her family present. The text that was read at Jean’s baptism, John 14:6, has been precious to her for the rest of her life as a Christian: Jesus answered “I am the way, the truth and the life. No-one comes to the Father except through me.” In 1959, Rob and Jean married and moved to Sheffield. They settled there for five years, working with Christian Endeavour and taking the message of the love of God into hospitals.
Returning to Cardiff in 1964, along with their 10 month old daughter, Kathryn, the couple bought a house in Greenway Road and looked for a local church to attend. They found St Mellons Baptist Church, an almost derelict building with a small congregation and a student minister. The church grew with several other couples joining and soon a Sunday School was also growing in the church and again Jean was able to teach, leading the primary section. Over the years, Jean has been able to serve in the church in many ways, not least by supporting Rob in his years as deacon and church secretary.
Jean thanks God that her two daughters and their husbands are committed Christians as well as Lucy, her grand daughter. She prays continually that her grandsons and step grandchildren will also come to faith in the Lord. Jean readily acknowledges that God has helped her through several trials over the years, particularly over recent years when Rob was very ill, spent a lot of time in hospital and eventually went to be with his Lord. “I feel the Holy Spirit’s presence continually with me, helping me to witness for the Lord Jesus whenever I can and over the years to come.”