By Don Robb

InterVarsity alumni – Don Robb

I never remember a time of not knowing Jesus. As a 15-year old in 1944, I went to Pioneer Camps in Port Sydney, Ontario, operated by Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship of Canada. There I learned about a daily “Quiet Time” of reading the Bible–with a printed guide like Scripture Union–and prayer. This has been a life-long daily discipline.

In August 1946, a last-minute decision to stay on at Pioneer Camps for the Teens Conference meant that I had to be a dish washer. One of the emphases of the conference was missions. God laid the question before me–“Will you go?” It wasn’t just emotional–it wasn’t quick–it was thoughtfully and carefully considered. “Yes, Lord.” was my answer; and ever since my life has been guided toward that call.

In September 1947, I entered Lehigh University in a five-year course of Arts and Engineering. In March of 1948, I met a fellow student, Al Hostetter, who was a Christian, and he knew a couple of other guys who were Christians–Paul Solt, Dick Yorgey, and Bob Swayne. In the fall we began informal prayer meetings at noon in the chapel and Bible Studies using InterVarsity materials. InterVarsity’s HIS magazine was also a resource for us. We made contact with InterVarsity, and a staff member, Paul Carlson, would occasionally visit the campus to encourage our group. We became a recognized campus group known as Lehigh Christian Fellowship. Occasionally, we brought in a special speaker, such as Dr. Donald Grey Barnhouse, or a Christian archeologist.

In December 1951, I went to InterVarsity’s Student Missions Convention at Urbana, Illinois. That was a time of recommitment to God’s call, and my interest focused on Presbyterian missions. As I looked for a seminary, I visited Princeton with a very skeptical attitude. My Pioneer Camp counselor (from 1944) was a Greek teacher there, and God used Raymond Strong to change my impression about Princeton.

In July 1952, at home in Pittsburgh, I went to a summer gathering of InterVarsity alumni–an occasional gathering for Bible study and fellowship. Special notice was given to a young lady who was in the Nurses Christian Fellowship, and was a Head Nurse in a hospital, Miss Eleanor Cramer. That began our courtship that led to marriage in l954–and this joy continues now for 53 years.

My call to missions was worked out as a Presbyterian missionary in Colombia and Venezuela from 1958 to 1977, then two years as a mission-administrator with a “faith mission,” and from 1979 to l992 as organizer of a new church in Birmingham, Alabama. I thank God for InterVarsity, and how He used InterVarsity in my life. I am thankful for InterVarsity’s specialized ministry which is creative and focused on those in higher education.