Bruce & Trudy Dick
Bruce: The thought of evangelism was always a terrifying thing to me. The thought of interrupting people just so they could tell me to “get out of here!” was how I always viewed evangelism to work! Yet I grew up watching Billy Graham crusades on our black and white TV as he shared with thousands in faraway countries and people responded in droves! But that would never be me. In both Bible college and seminary, in classes on evangelism, we had to share the gospel three times in order to get a good grade. Well I procrastinated as long as possible and then finally, with nerves already on edge, found some folks to blurt out my message so I could write it down, hand it in and be done!
Years went by and God gave me some space. After seminary, I returned home to the family farm in North Dakota, loving the farm work and life, and did pulpit supply and youth work on the side. Seven years into that career, I married the love of my life, Trudy, and for five more years we farmed with my family. But God was preparing me for something else.
Trudy: After a re-commitment to Jesus in my college days, I was excited to grow in my faith while attending the University of North Dakota. I became involved with CRU through which I gained a greater understanding of the gospel and grew in my faith by leaps and bounds. Because I had grown so much, I wanted to pass that along to others. I even eventually joined full time staff of CRU for two years until I moved back to North Dakota to marry the man who won my heart, Bruce.
Bruce: In 1997 we left the farm for the pastorate in a church near where we had lived. Over the years we served there, God began to show me that evangelism was more than an interruption and a panicked presentation of the gospel. Instead, I began to ask God to help me love those he put in my path and to ask them how I could pray for them. Incredibly, just that question would sometimes open up long conversations, the chance to pray for them, and occasionally the chance to share the gospel. But I also began to realize that God is the one who saves people and that I can’t, but he lets me be part of what he is doing! So the pressure was off and the opportunities to share began to increase. I began to have a heart for sharing the hope we have in Christ.Throughout my Christian life, I knew evangelism was important, but sometimes it felt like a project or event to be checked off my list of good things to do. I desired for it to flow out of my life and relationship with Jesus.
Our story: One day in 2018, God simply let Bruce know his time at the church was to come to an end. We knew it was Him because it was a clear sense from Him and it came with amazing peace, although we had no idea what was next. He was inviting Bruce to trust him. And so he did. We did. And three months later, the opportunity to join Ambassadors for Christ International as the National Coordinator for EvangelismSHIFT USA was offered. Once again God confirmed His will and we said “yes” to God and to the team at AFCI.
Witnessing as a lifestyle, not just an event, is the heartbeat of EvangelismSHIFT and this is now how we are seeking to live. God shows up with opportunities with people we already know, and people we have just met in unexpected times and places.
EvangelismSHIFT also gives us a chance to help churches find the same joy and freedom in living this way. We work with churches for two years and the stories we already hearing are amazing! Year one simply helps church leaders live the life of a witness. Year two, we work with the church’s core leaders to help them develop a disciple-making pathway that fits their church based on Jesus’ strategy of developing the team that would carry on after Him. It’s a great journey. It requires faith, but we know that without faith it is impossible to please him. We can’t wait to see how God starts a movement that we trust will one day sweep across this country for the glory of his name and advancement of his kingdom until he returns!