The Eagle recently had the opportunity to ask newlyweds Sam and Joel Hawk about their journey together at OKWU.
Where are each of you from?
I am from Riverside, California, and Joel is from Portland, Oregon (the beautiful west coast!).
What brought each of you here to OKWU?
I originally wanted to study to become a veterinarian.Growing up in the Wesleyan church, I heard about [OKWU] from my pastor but did not desire to go to this school. My senior year, I applied to colleges in California, and the whole time I felt this push to look more into the school so my dad and I made a visit and I felt from God that this was the place he wanted me to be. For Joel, two of his older brothers came here. His dad is a wesleyan pastor and the school was the closest wesleyan school to his home.
How did you guys meet?
Remembering how we met makes me smile. Joel and I had most of the same classes because we were both studying music and education (Joel was working on a music minor). We met in our music theory class but one random day, in our psychology class, I asked Joel if he wanted to study for a test together. To this day, I do not know why I would ask Joel. I hardly knew him and I am usually so shy I normally wouldn’t do that. I really believe that God orchestrated that too. From then on, we studied for all our tests together and became best friends.
When and where did you get married?
We were married on June 1st, 2013, in his home church, and his dad married us.
How has OKWU contributed to you guys’ mutual love for both music and God?
Joel and I have always loved music but okwu is where we had the opportunity to learn more and grow as musicians and it also was the place that brought us together and gave us a person to enjoy music with. OKWU is also the place that brought us to a deeper knowledge and love for the Lord. It’s more than just the classes or the music. It’s the presence that God has on our campus. God has brought us through many changes here and he continues to do so and I know he will long after we leave, too.
What are you both going to do after you graduate?
After graduation, Joel and I are moving to Portland, Oregon. We feel God has called us to the northwest to start a non-profit organization in which we help hurting people and people with disabilities with music therapy and pet therapy.
Do you have any advice for couples (dating, engaged, or married) in college?
Advice. Well Joel and I are learning everyday what love is. God is teaching us. The one thing I could say is that you must actively seek God everyday because without him, we have no clue how to love. Relationships should not be based on feelings but the promise and commitment to act out our love because that is what our Lord did for us. It’s a constant lesson in life. And not just one for those in relationships. But also, I guess just try to put understanding of the other ahead of your own feelings and treasure every moment with that person.
Photo courtesy of Joel and Sam Hawk