As C.S. Lewis put it, the route to hell is a gradual slope without sudden twists, and Rick had been slowly walking on it since his teenage years, leaving behind the faith of his family. But that changed when a friend shared the gospel with Rick, transforming him into a devoted follower of Jesus Christ.
He started attending an evangelical church, and on his first Sunday he heard former president of ABWE proudly declare that his missionaries were “knocking holes into the darkness,” allowing the light of Christ to shine through. His words struck Rick broadside, convincing him to prepare his evangelism skills so that he could one day go to the field if the Lord called him to.
Seven years later, Rick met Jo’ell at Bible college. She came from a military family and was saved at a young age after a conversation with a friend. Jo’ell was always fascinated by missionary stories growing up, and while at Bible college, she resolved to put Christ at the center of her life, through career or ministry.
Once married, children and paying off debt pushed the thought of missions to the background until 2007, when Rick and Jo’ell moved their family of seven to Mexico to start youth groups, host Bible conferences, and do evangelism training.
In 2015, they returned to the US after Jo’ell was diagnosed with colon cancer. Thankfully, God blessed them with a successful surgery to remove the tumor. For the past five years, they have been raising up and coaching aspiring Christian leaders and church planters in the Hispanic community in Oregon.
They will be joining ABWE’s EveryEthne ministry to continue reaching the Hispanic population in North America.
Editor’s Note: Learn more about the Bruggemans’ ministry here.
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