Garth Hawyes

Garth Hawyes

I was raised in a good Christian home, as many of you will know. My family life and home situation was probably one of the most privileged situations I could have known. I only came to realise this much later in life. Pretty much every one I know or have dealt with lately has come from, or is in, a broken family. Living with both sets of parents in Christian homes is almost unheard of nowadays.

Anyway my three brothers, sister and parents all loved, and still love, the Lord.  I felt that I was being pressured into this “walk of faith”. Naturally I wanted to make my own choices in life – despite the fact that I had the answer to life right in my hands, but didn’t know it! Soon I found myself on a slow slide to nowhere. I could go into all the nonsense I got up to, but it’s all just what the Word calls “hevel” (vapour); it adds up to nothing.

In a nutshell, I left school in Std 7 and went to Art School where I became involved in the drug scene and all that goes with it. All the while my loving father, at home, acted with incredible wisdom and love; only God knows! I often found myself in situations where, due to drugs, a group of us opened ourselves to the spirit realm where almost everyone was in a state where evil spirits could have their way. Somehow I was never able to get there; God had His hand on my life even when my heart was far from Him!

Just to prove to myself that I was not like my Dad and the Church I would carry a Gideon’s Bible in my pocket and used the pages for rolling my ‘joints’. Through all this I was still attending Youth and Church and become very good at rejecting the Word. Every now and again I would feel bad, so I would respond to the appeal, but it was always just for people, not for God. I remember going to Church one day before I had had my morning dope pipe! A few people asked me what was wrong with me, saying that I looked strange.  I soon realised how far I had drifted. Anyway it was all the “hevel”! My brother Keith once said, “It takes a real man to serve God.” That statement hurt quite badly because it had serious implications for me!

I gave my heart to God many times, but never for real. That is, until once at a Golden Harvest Senior Youth Programme where I had managed to harden my heart till Day 4 (and that’s not easy!). Rupert Freese had just shared the Word. I was on my way for a smoke afterwards when Mike Muller caught me and just flat out told me that if I didn’t respond right there and then I was going to Hell! Only later I realised how full of wisdom and the power of the Holy Ghost he was. That was it, much reconciliation and work had to be done in me, but that was the day I surrendered all to Jesus.

Over the next while the Lord worked in my life and slowly started to wash me. In all His wisdom, God gave me a godly wife, Rae, who has such a huge capacity to serve and love with no holding back.

Now this is where I could talk forever of God’s day-by-day Grace and Love.  God is SO good! I knew that the good Christian life was great, and serving God is great, but, one night, while running a Youth Camp, I was listening to Gavin Belman share with the young people. He said that giving your heart to God was not enough; He wants your Life.  WOW, what a statement! There’s more, Life and Life more abundant!  That night everything changed from just being saved, to being a Son of the Living God, never to be the same. Now THAT’S my real testimony; don’t be a half-Christian; give your life, your whole life; He wants it ALL.

Rae and I have had such an awesome privilege to be involved in the Work of God, working with Young People. Now I see the value of having a godly home, and godly men to seek advice and counsel from. If you find it hard to serve the Lord, or battle to get excited in your Faith, Get More Involved! Serve God without restraint.

You MUST first LOSE your life to FIND it!

Rae Hawyes