Memorial to my father
Harold Jonathan Hansen
A wonderful man of genuine faith
The Bible tells us that we can identify Christians by their fruit. The theme throughout the Scriptures, especially in first Corinthians chapter 13, is that love is the indisputable characteristic of a believer.
We are living in a day and age when Christian success, to some people, is solely measured by material wealth and physical health. I believe this is a wrong premise based on taking Scripture out of context. I certainly believe that God provides, takes care of, and heals people. However, I also understand that many apostles and prophets in the Bible lived and died with sickness and in poverty. Even though some men of God were deprived in times past, some modern day Bible expositors try to ease their conscience by twisting the Scriptures to allow themselves to entertain their lusts and gluttonous appetites. Once again, I am not against God's provision and financial blessings. I believe in God's blessings and I pray constantly for God to bless my staff so they can bless other people. I also believe God provides the gifts and favor for some Christians to be extremely blessed in finances so they can help other ministers in extending the kingdom of God.
My father, Reverend Harold Jonathan Hansen, was born to missionaries in Peking, China. During World War II, my grandfather was told to take his family and leave China to avoid becoming prisoners of war. He refused to leave because he felt God told him to stay with the Church in China. Consequently, the Hansen family forsook the safety of America and became prisoners, first under house arrest and later in a concentration camp. They suffered while imprisoned and my father's brother-in-law (who was a pastor) was shot in the head and killed, becoming a martyr for our Lord Jesus Christ.
On February 6, 2007, my father was taken to Sacred Heart Hospital in Spokane, Washington, because of vomiting blood. He was diagnosed with two bleeding ulcers. He was put on a respirator to help him breath as the doctors had to cauterize the esophagus ulcer and staple the stomach ulcer the following day. During the next 30 days of his hospitalization, he suffered several unexpected issues that threatened to end his life: a heart attack, pneumonia, respiratory failure, and dehydration. Almost every day I would call three different intercessors that I had confidence would stand in the gap through intercession and fight a spiritual battle. I briefed them on the current medical crisis at that moment. Finally, after serious and faithful battles of daily prayer, we would see God stop the death angel from taking my father's life that day.
I believe my father came out of ICU miraculously because of prayer. He was sent to another floor and was recuperating when suddenly he was readmitted back to ICU, due to what they believed was a blood clot breaking away from his leg into his lungs. Once again he was placed on life support. After several days the decision was made to take him off life support. The doctors had given up hope of his survival. The family gathered and I continued to have our intercessors battling in prayer. I believe in miracles and I know the battle for life is never over unless we ourselves believe a negative report and give in to doubt and unbelief. Nothing can touch you unless God allows it. The decision was made to remove the breathing tube. Medical personnel as well as family members were present waiting for Dad to die, but he continued to live. As soon as the tube was removed he opened his eyes and was alert again. He continued to breath and the family was able to sing and tell him how much we loved him.
About 36 hours later, when his vital signs were good, I felt the Lord tell me He was going to take him home to be with Him. I told several people. About 12 hours later I prayed out loud for him to be healed or for the Lord to take him. Then about a half hour later he went on to be with the Lord very peacefully. We all stayed in the room for about two hours just basking in the presence of God. Nobody was crying, we were just in awe at the glory of God in the room.
From the world's perspective, my father would probably be called a failure. At the time of his death he owned nothing except a 1998 car. My father had no savings account or retirement fund. He did not own land or a house. Most importantly though, he did leave a heritage of children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren (relatives) that love the Lord Jesus Christ. Many of them (approximately 30) are serving Jesus throughout the United States or around the world in full time ministry as pastors, teachers, missionaries, etc. During his life he served as an assistant pastor in several churches and as the Senior pastor in six churches. The churches he led were small, so he had to work an additional job to provide for his family's needs at the same time. Some of his occupations included a teacher, janitor, school bus driver, and security guard. My father was highly educated for his time, graduating from what is now called Vanguard University in Costa Mesa, California. He also graduated from Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington. He was willing to do anything to serve the Lord and help people. His goal was the kingdom of God, and he lived for Jesus Christ who was truly the lover of his soul.
Grandson-in-law's Testimony of Harold Hanson
I knew Grandpa Hansen in his last years. I married his granddaughter Kareen Hansen. Being a newcomer to the family and aspiring toward the ministry, I was amazed as I pieced together the story of his life through my own interaction and from the warm memories shared by my wife and her family. As I attended his funeral and helped carry his casket toward its final home, I was left with many impressions. I would like to share these with you.
Harold Hansen was a strong man troubled by an ailing body. A long illness and poor medical treatment forced Grandpa to speak slowly. He had trouble getting himself out of bed and to the bathroom, to the breakfast table and into his favorite chair to pray and read his bible. His legs had grown weak and often they failed him. Many times when I saw Grandpa, he had fresh bruises caused by a trip over the living room rug, the step on the front porch or the trim for the front door.
When I would see the bruises my stomach would turn. I would place my hand on his shoulder, shake my head, and say how sorry I was. Grandpa would look at me with a smile and say, “Praise the Lord”. I would cringe to think that there was nothing that could be done, and there would undoubtedly be more bruises in the future.
The weakened body of Grandpa never quelled his strong love for his family. One time, while Kareen and I talked with Grandma ‘Bubbles’ (his wife, Esther), Grandpa Hansen sat in his chair and listened with a smile. After a lot of smiling he broke in, “Esther, get the kids some ice cream!” Another time at the breakfast table, Grandpa and I were talking. Grandma came over to see what he would like for breakfast. As she set to work in the kitchen Grandpa’s eyes followed her and he smiled. He looked again to me and said, “that’s my bride”.
Those who knew Grandpa knew that his mind was still attentive and sharp even though it was frustratingly disconnected from his ability to communicate quickly. I could see it in the times when he would strain to tell me a story, or finish an answer to a question I asked him. Sometimes he realized that it just would not come out, he would look with a grin and say, “Praise the Lord”. One time I saw him on the couch, in the middle of the afternoon. His eyes were closed and he was shouting in a whisper “In Jesus name”. He was praying for his children.
Often when Kareen and I would visit, we all sang together. The incredible thing about Grandpa’s illness was that whatever prevented him from talking never prevented him from singing. He would perfectly sing each hymn, and lead out into another. One time I drove Grandma and Grandpa from Seattle to Spokane. I had instrumental Christmas music playing on my stereo. For hours Grandpa sang the songs from memory in an aged but hearty tenor voice. It was the same handsome voice that had soared through sanctuaries and drew many a “Hallelujah” from congregations.
Music helped Grandpa to remember the vitality of years past, but the right question about the ministry would do the same. I once asked about his experience in China. He spoke back to me in fluent Mandarin learned over half a century ago. I asked him about teaching. He loved to teach any and every subject: Math, English or Pentecostal theology. He was ready to teach public school, private school or Sunday school. I also learned that Harold and Esther made nearly 300 pastoral house calls in one year. He spoke fondly of his former flocks in Okanogan, Electric City, South Prairie, Hawaii, and numerous other places. Preaching, teaching, healing, prayer and music, Grandpa loved the ministry.
For the last several years of his life, the world saw very little of Grandpa. As my wife and I spent time with Grandma after the funeral, I looked through their small home. I saw the pictures of children, grandchildren and great grandchildren placed with care on every counter top, ledge and end table. Original paintings of mountains, deer and evergreens trimmed the walls, each signed H.J. Hansen. I looked at the bed, two wore out mattresses doubled-up, his hats piled in a corner by the front door and a closet full of old suits, carefully kept and well worn. I looked at the small kitchen and the chair in the corner. I couldn’t help but think, how many mornings did Grandpa wake up at dawn, put on his suit and tie, spend hours praying in his chair and return to bed in the evening, repeating the routine again the next day? A doctor’s visit or days with family interrupted the routine at times, but for many days and many years, illness resigned Harold Hansen to the ministry of prayer and to a life of remembering. The speech, mind and body that were once so nimble, now would just not work together to accomplish what was once so easy. Day after day, meal after meal, prayer after prayer, suit on, suit off, the routine continued. Then one day, it ended. Grandpa left us. We are left in a world that marches on around us. His passing was a quiet interval in the grand sweep of time. What are we to make of this?
Our world comes at us like speeding freight trains from countless different directions. They stop at our doors and blare at us that we need to climb aboard. As I am preparing for my own career, I am too often tempted to jump on the most appealing train. Which track will lead to a respected career? Which track will assure financial stability? Which track will assure my family a comfortable life? Which track will connect me with important people? On which track will I be happy, where my talents will be recognized and rewarded?
In contrast, I think the Hansen family has learned to ask, On which track will I be faithful to my Lord? It may lead to service. It may lead to suffering. It may lead away from family life or it may lead straight into it. It may lead onto the platform or into the background. The legacy that Grandpa learned from his courageous missionary parents was the legacy of faithfulness. How may I serve the Lord? Every part of the Hansen family I have met thus far, brother, sister, cousin, aunt, uncle, children or grandchildren, in my judgment each one, all in a variety of circumstances, seems to ask this important question. Some are raising children, some are pursuing education or careers, some are in the pulpit, some are caring for loved ones, and some are serving around the world. How may I be faithful? Each one seeks the answer in their own way, but ask the fateful question they must.
At the funeral service it was more than evident that Harold Hansen died a rich man. He was surrounded by family who loved him. He was mourned by fellow ministers, friends and friends of friends. Some of his family made music, others shared, some sat silent in their respect. Tears ran down faces like streams in a desert. They loved him. His faithfulness inspired them. This was a life well lived.
When we put the casket into the hearse and Grandpa was brought to where his body would finally rest; this was when I was most impacted. The somber words of Genesis passed through my mind like a subtle wind …the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground (2:7) … for dust you are and to dust you will return (3:19).
I couldn’t help but think that one day my own father, my wife, my son and myself would also lie in the grave. I cried. This is not something I think about. Death is judge of us all; it is the final doorway every person on this earth must walk through. There is an appointment that we have with the earth; this is an appointment that will surely be kept. Our bodies will pass away. As much as our society ignores or tries to defy the corruption of the flesh, it is a fact of our existence. As I reflected on the life and passing of Grandpa Hansen, this reality was thrust to the front of my mind. What are we to do?
The question takes us to the heart of the Christian faith and the beautiful life of Harold J. Hansen. We believe in the One who walked through the final doorway and defeated the enemy behind it. Our hope is in Jesus Christ resurrected, our great Lord whom death could not hold, our Champion and Conqueror of the grave. His perfect, obedient life to God the Father and unjust death at the hands men sealed his victory and ours. We are invited to trade our life for his by faith. Our flesh suffers corruption, but in Christ we are born of the Spirit. In Him and by His great power we hope for our victory over death, the enemy of all mankind.
The beautiful life of Harold Hansen was life in the Spirit. Anyone who knew Grandpa knew that his life was his faith and his faith was this great hope. His flesh had failed him earlier than it fails most of us. His poor body suffered corruption long before his death, but it was his spirit that was strong and incorruptible, beautiful and full of life. It was the sweet inner man of Harold Hansen where he dwelled with God and God dwelled with him. You only had to watch him pray to see that a sacred and full life was being lived before his Lord. It was that precious inner man that loved and inspired us. When the service of his body failed to carry out the multitude of tasks and talents that were once at his command, his spirit continued to show through in his love, prayers and song.
If I claim to be a Christian, my life is in the Spirit. No matter how this world tries to delude or sell me any reason to believe otherwise, I need only to remember the life of Grandpa Hansen. He went forward strong and faithful, longing for his true home where corruption had no hold on the beautiful person God had formed. Through suffering, Grandpa learned where life and vitality truly existed. His life in the Spirit is now complete. Faith is now sight. In our temporary health and fleeting material security in this world, do we dare live so courageously?
Nathan is my son-in-law preparing himself for ministry. He and my daughter Kareen graduated with their B.A.'s from Northwest University (Kirkland, Washington) and are in seminary at Gordon Conwall in Boston. They want to serve as missionaries to Italy.
Harold J. Hansen
My father listened to my radio program “Warning” faithfully each day Monday through Friday. He loved to hear the Word of God. Our radio program is such an important aspect of our ministry to reach out to people throughout the world with the truth of Scripture. We currently need about twenty thousand dollars to cover the overdue costs of that radio ministry. Please pray with me for that media cost to be covered and the “Warning” broadcast to continue. If you would like to donate a memorial gift to honor my father’s memory, send your designated contribution to WMI and these gifts will be directed to pay off the radio debt. May God richly bless and keep each one of you. May He heal and prosper you so together, through your prayers and financial support, we can reach America and the nations with the warning gospel message of Jesus Christ. The signs of the times are everywhere and we need to be about our father’s business. Thank you in advance. Jonathan Hansen
Founder and President
Mission: To faithfully speak to the nations of the world, proclaiming the kingdom of God; giving warning to political and church leaders, the church, and society of the signs of the return of Jesus Christ. We are "sounding the alarm" for the nations to turn from sin and to draw near to Jesus Christ.
Purpose: Our purpose is to influence and transform the nations whereby enabling peace, blessings and prosperity to come to the people. We are endeavoring to meet emotional, physical, psychological and spiritual needs through the love of Jesus Christ.
Vision: To reach 100% of the world with the gospel of Jesus Christ. To change the destiny of nations through reconciliation with God. To bring truth and restoration to the body of Christ and to set people free from bondage.
The mission, purpose, and vision are being realized by the following means:
*Radio & Short-Wave Radio
-Gate Breakers Prayer Team
-Soldiers of the Cross
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