Hazel Hawes

Gospel Pioneers
Gospel Pioneers
Gospel Pioneers

I was born and brought up on a farm in western Minnesota. I never heard my mother pray. There may have been a Bible in our home, but I don’t remember that there was. We did have a book of Bible stories, however, and I believed them. Mother was a good woman and warned me against the dance floor and card playing, but I was disobedient and was a child seemingly without natural affection. My friends were mostly church members, but they mixed religion and sin together. Though I knew right from wrong, I had no conviction for sin.

When I was twenty-three years old I married, and my husband and I both loved the pleasures and amusements of the world. But he had a praying mother, a real Christian, and in his trunk was a new Bible that his parents had given him on his twenty-first birthday. I read and reread the Bible from cover to cover, and was never the same again. I still loved the pleasures of the world, but was just a misfit.

In 1918 my father died, my husband’s mother died, and my brother was killed in France during World War I. Those were serious days. I began to pray and wanted to go to church, though my husband and I hadn’t been inside a church for years.

A year later we bought a car and started to travel. I forsook the things of the world, yet there was no conviction or repentance for past sins. Finally we both joined a church and were immersed in water baptism but, in spite of it all, I weighed everything by the Word of God, and would question anything contrary to it. Some way, God had put the love of the truth in my heart. I had a certain standard that couldn’t be shaken, and as I walked in the light, the Lord gave me more light.

I had a certain standard that couldn’t be shaken, and as I walked in the light, the Lord gave me more light.

Yet, it seemed I was just a wanderer and a misfit for about ten years. As I walked in the light that God shed on my pathway, He never failed me. One night in 1934, I don’t remember what I prayed, but the cry of my heart was that God would show me the way. A short time after that we received an Apostolic Faith paper, and the Lord showed me I had at last found the truth. It was through reading the testimonies in that paper that the Lord showed me I had never been born again.

I prayed many prayers before the light of Heaven broke through to my soul, and when it did I felt as though I had come out of a howling wilderness. I thank the Lord for hearing the prayer I prayed—it was a prayer of repentance.

I had passed as a Christian for years, and nobody could have told me I wasn’t a Christian. I would have been very much offended if they had told me that was the case. But how I thank God, that after all those years of profession, He gave me real conviction and led me to true repentance. In a moment of time, I was a different woman and I have been a different woman ever since. I hardly recognized myself.

The Lord answered my prayers as I sought Him for the deeper experiences. He sanctified me wholly, and baptized me with the Holy Ghost. When I came to God, I was just a weak, sickly woman, not able to do my own housework, but as I walked in the Light of the Gospel and received the Truth in my heart, my health and strength came back.

I wrote to the Apostolic Faith Church in Portland, Oregon, and told them our needs, which were many. The answer came back, “We will pray.” The depression was on at that time, and we listed our farm for sale with no results. In January of 1935, we were snowed in and a man and his son walked in over the snowdrifts and said they understood we wanted to sell our farm. From that time on, all we had to do was to stand still and see God work.

It wasn’t hard for me to believe, for I was so hungry for God, and He gave me my deeper experiences.

The man wanted possession by March 1. We couldn’t drive though until just before camp meeting, but the Lord knew all about that too. There was a house across the field that was rented and they were moving on March 1. Every move was timed. We didn’t even go to look things over; but when we arrived, we found it was clean, and had a fire in the range and hot water in the reservoir. There was a nice big chicken house; we took over 150 laying hens and feed, and so forth, and a man came thirty miles to buy them when we left. My husband built a two-wheeled trailer outfit, and we started for Portland on June 11, 1935.

As we left that day, my mother stood on one side of the car and our grown and married daughter on the other side, weeping. It was hard, and I shed many tears, but they are both in Heaven today. Yes, it paid! It seemed as though a curtain dropped behind me, and I have never looked back. When we arrived at the Portland camp meeting it seemed every teaching given on the Word of God was for me. The founder of this Gospel said, “If you who don’t know of another consecration to make, just let the Word of God wash your heart,” and again, “Just eat the whole Lamb of God; He can’t help but give you your experiences.” It wasn’t hard for me to believe, for I was so hungry for God, and He gave me my deeper experiences. I didn’t have to wait long, either.

My husband and I didn’t know where we were going to live or how he could make a living in a city; but God led us step by step. I stood on the promise, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” My husband had no trade, as all he had been used to doing was working a farm for himself. So the last Friday of camp meeting, I said to the Lord in our tent, “Lord, show me today what we should do!” It seemed He took my hand and led me down the path where the campers washed clothes, and there was a bulletin board. I looked right at one of the cards that had been placed on the board, and as I read the card it seemed the Lord showed me this was the place we should go.

We went and inquired at that address, and just the night before this man and his wife had said, “We will sell our house for so much if we can get the cash.” So we bought their home; and he asked my husband to work for him. He worked for a year and a half, got some experience, and finally went into business for himself for twenty-three years until he retired. We can say that Jesus never has failed us once, and we have never wanted for any good thing, according to His Word of promise.