HOUSTON (FOX 26) — "I’m a heart patient," said 84-year-old Paul Smith. "I’ve had five heart attacks."
The heart attacks and the shaking of his hands do not deter Smith from doing for others.
"It gives me real joy to see people, children who are suffering, children who have nothing, get something," said Smith, a retired pastor who spent 35 years as a missionary in the Middle East.
"As a missionary, I started a school in Jordan," described Smith. "Fortunately, we had the Royal Family in the school, King Hussein’s children. That’s now one of the best schools in Jordan."
Since retiring, Smith spends most of his free time making small wooden chairs and toys for children in need.
All the wood is donated by Parkway Place, a senior living community where Smith lives with his wife. He won’t sell anything he makes. It’s all donated.
Smith gave toys and chairs away to the prison unit in Huntsville.
"The families come up to visit and the children don’t have anything to play with," explained Smith. He said that it takes him 12-to-15 hours to make one of the little chairs, which require no glue or nails.
Smith once called them puzzle chairs, but now refers to them as Gospel chairs.
"Life is a puzzle to a lot of people, especially children," said Smith. "But the presence of Christ in a life, the presence of a cross will help.”
It’s a cross that holds all the pieces of the chair together.
"All is well that’s locked together and life comes together with the love of Christ,” said Smith.
The toys Smith makes are simple, but they can last a lifetime, just like the memories Smith has made helping others.
"Basically, that’s my story,” said Smith. "I want to help people."