Bruce was born of missionary parents in Hong Kong and spent some of his early years in a Japanese concentration camp with his parents – a rather unique beginning to a lifetime of adventure. After finishing high school in Hong Kong, he worked his way back to the States on a Norwegian freighter to attend Wheaton College, where he excelled in ping pong during his first two years. Realizing there was no degree granted in that field, he settled down to “the books” and graduated with a degree in Sociology – and a commission in the US Army. As a young lieutenant, he received his jump wings and was selected to the elite Special Forces training at Ft. Bragg, NC, before being assigned to Okinawa – the jumping off base for assignments in Thailand, Taiwan, the Philippines and Vietnam in the early stages of the war. The training was intense, the adventure was high, and his life was divinely protected on a number of occasions. In spite of his love of the “adrenalin highs,” he felt the strong urge to “help people” and left the exciting army life to enter graduate school and earned a Master’s in Guidance and Counseling. Divine protection turned into divine guidance, since it was here that he met and married the girl whom he had met briefly a year earlier. She introduced him to the discipleship ministry of The Navigators and the gentle, but firm nudges of the Holy Spirit led Bruce and Donna to Texas for further training in personal evangelism and discipleship, which eventually led to an unmistakable conviction that nothing less than guidance in eternal matters would really help people. The transition from a “counseling cubicle” to world-wide ministry opportunities gradually unfolded, and the “life of adventure” that God offered far exceeded anything that could have been experienced from a career in the military. Ministry assignments ranged from a training missionary candidates in the jungles of southern Mexico to a more traditional discipleship program in Ghana, to organizing mass immunization programs in Uganda and large-scale water projects in Kenya, to pastors training and leadership development programs throughout Africa, Asia, Latin America and more recently, Eastern Europe. The work was challenging and rewarding, but not without suffering – Donna passed away in a freak swimming accident off the coast of Kenya, loss of job and home due to lack of project funding, some poor financial decisions resulting in deep debt and a general downward spiral into a state of clinical depression took Bruce to decisions that nearly cost him his life – not suicidal, just providential. But God is faithful – the extremity of man’s crisis is the opportunity of God’s grace. Through what could only be termed as “miraculous,” followed by an unusual set of circumstances, God introduced Bruce to the “Grace-Message,” which revolutionized his understanding of God, himself and living the Christian life. Philippians 1:6, which he had memorized decades earlier, took on new meaning: “As you have received Christ Jesus as Lord (by grace through faith), so live in Him (by grace through faith) – so simple, yet so profound. In August of 2009, God took this “trained killer” and “stumbling servant” and gave him a new mission – to be an “agent of His grace.”
My Encounter with Grace:
I had been a Christian for 29 years and never knew what it was to really “know God” as He intended until I met Roger Stark, a pastor in Jacksonville, FL in 2012.
After accepting Jesus as my Lord and Savior in 1983, I served faithfully as a layman for many years before answering a call to ministry and going to Bible College in 1993. I earned my BS in Church Ministries in May of 2000 and served as an associate pastor for over 11 years before “hitting the wall”. I felt empty and dissatisfied; and I did not want to live in my “roller coaster religion” any longer. I resigned my position with nowhere to go but to my knees.
That’s when Jesus showed me the true meaning of His Grace! I was brought into something that I never experienced before and my heart craved for more! Now I know who I am in Christ; a son of God, unconditionally loved, forgiven completely, and accepted just as I am. I am a new creation IN Jesus. He speaks to me, He leads me, He comforts me; He is LIFE! My Life. It is my passion to bring this message of Life in Christ to all who will hear.