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Mother Led the Way

When my mother walked up the sidewalk that day, I knew something was different. And the events that followed proved it.

The story of Jesus changed the whole course of my life. My mother was brought up in a religious home, and it was more strict than she liked. Thinking the world looked bright, she left her home and...

The story of Jesus changed the whole course of my life.

My mother was brought up in a religious home, and it was more strict than she liked. Thinking the world looked bright, she left her home and married my father, who was a fiddle player and could play all night without repeating a number. With Mother accompanying him on the piano, they played at the hometown amusements.

On Saturday evenings we went to the dance halls where my parents provided the entertainment for most of the night. When I was tired, they put me to sleep behind the piano. In the wee hours of the morning, we went home. Father was usually in a drunken condition, and jealous if Mother had danced with anyone. Finally she said she wouldn’t go again, and Dad became so angry that I was afraid of him.

Since Father was a building contractor by trade, his work often took him away from home for weeks at a time. His absences made him like a stranger to me, and I hated to see him come home. He lost work because of his drinking and gambling, which often caused us to be without the necessities of life. Eventually he and my mother divorced.

A while later he came back and wanted to start a new life with Mother. She agreed to try once more. He won my love by promising me a new pair of patent leather shoes. We were so poor that it didn’t take much to win me over. My parents married the second time, and because of an economic boom in Port Angeles, Washington, we moved there.

Mother asked if she could go to church on Easter Sunday that year, and Dad gave his consent. My sister and I wanted to watch an Easter parade so we stayed outside while Mother went into the Apostolic Faith Church. After the parade was over, we decided to go on home.

Soon we saw Mother coming up the sidewalk. What a change! The sad look was gone and her face beamed.

Soon we saw Mother coming up the sidewalk. What a change! The sad look was gone and her face beamed. She said Jesus had come into her heart, and I saw the difference it made. From then on she sang hymns and prayed every day. She prayed for me, and God healed me of an affliction I’d had since I was a small child.

My mother’s good life convicted me, making me feel mean and miserable. I truly wanted to be happy like my mother. At church I heard young people tell of how thrilled they were with the Gospel. God had saved their souls, and they were jubilant in their Christian lives. Finally, one day at the close of a service I knelt to pray, asking Jesus to come into my heart. Such a calm came over me. My sins were forgiven.

From then on, I was a different person. The hateful feeling in my heart was completely gone. I did not tell lies anymore. At school the next day, my friends noticed the difference.

For a few months our family was happy. However, Dad soon started objecting to our church attendance. He moved us to Seattle, Washington, where he worked for his brother. However, Mother kept serving the Lord. In the evenings when my father was gone, my mother, sister, and I gathered around the piano and sang. My mother loved the songs “Angels, Get My Mansion Ready” and “The Pearly White City.” Oh, we felt God so near!

Dad left us again. Mother took us back to Port Angeles, where the church people had treated us so kindly. They let us live in two rooms in the back of the church building.

Then Dad left us again. Mother took us back to Port Angeles, where the church people had treated us so kindly. They let us live in two rooms in the back of the church building. Mother did housework to support us, but she had diabetes and weighed only ninety-eight pounds. My sister quit school and worked in a laundry to help out. After Mother died, my sister and I continued to live in the church building.

When I was thirteen, my sister and I started singing duets in the church services. She also played a small saxophone, and I played a banjo-mandolin. When the orchestra grew larger, I wanted a violin. My uncle was the Chief of Police in Seattle. Although I did not know him very well, I wrote asking for a violin. I waited a long time for an answer, and just about gave up. Then on my fourteenth birthday, a package came from Sears and Roebuck. It contained a violin, bow, and case. What a thrill!

That same day I took a job in a bakery and could help my sister with our finances. What a birthday present! I was truly happy. Soon I was playing my violin in the church orchestra. It was such a privilege to sing and play for the Lord.

Learning about the experience of sanctification, I consecrated deeper to the Lord, offering Him my life in service. What waves of blessing flowed over my soul when the Lord answered my prayer!

Learning about the experience of sanctification, I consecrated deeper to the Lord, offering Him my life in service. What waves of blessing flowed over my soul when the Lord answered my prayer! Then I had a deep hunger for the baptism of the Holy Ghost—power for service. It was wonderful when the Lord gave me that experience too.

Eventually, my sister and I worked together in a department store. We had the joy of seeing one of our employers and his family saved and serving the Lord. They are in Heaven now.

After some years, my sister and I were asked to move to Portland, Oregon, to assist in the music at the Apostolic Faith headquarters church. God provided us both with good jobs, which made it possible for me to purchase a better violin, and to take both voice and violin lessons.

I worked as a saleslady in a downtown Portland department store. One day, standing by my supervisor, I looked up and saw a man who looked like my father. When I told my supervisor, she said, “Go ask him.” I went over and said, “Pardon me. Is your name Mr. Comstock?” He said, “What do you want to know for?” I said, “Is it Mr. Ona G. Comstock?” He said, “It used to be.” I said, “I’m Sylvia.” He looked at me and said, “Oh no. I have a picture of her.” He pulled the picture out of his pocket, and I said, “That’s me.” He turned white as a sheet, but still could not believe me. So I told him to go up the street to the store where my sister worked. He did go see my sister, and then came back to see me again.

Several times Dad came to church. When we had open air meetings on the streets and invited people to services, he often showed up. He knew where we were. I never heard what became of him, but I know he heard the story of Jesus, just as I did. I am sure God talked to him.

Many years have come and gone since then. I wouldn’t exchange the privileges I’ve had in helping spread the Gospel for anything in the world. God has never failed. Three times I have been widowed. In sickness, He has helped me. He’s always there when I need Him.

I have a bright future. Every day I’m looking for Jesus’ coming. My greatest desire is to be ready to meet Him.

by Sylvia Nees

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