Bruce & April Christensen - On to the Next Chapter
If you haven’t heard, Bruce Christensen is stepping down from his position here at the Fellowship Pacific Ministry Centre and for all of us who have had the great pleasure of working and serving alongside him, we’re going to miss him immensely. But we’re also celebrating with him and April as they move into their new ministry roles at Sunnybrae Bible Camp. To the staff at Sunnybrae, you’re in for a real treat!
Bruce has filled many roles over twenty-five plus years for Fellowship Pacific including fourteen years as our Regional Director. He has been a beloved pastor at several Fellowship churches, he has served on endless committees and for the last six years he has devoted his time to caring for our pastors and their families. Bruce and April have logged hundreds of miles as they’ve visited our churches around our region spreading joy and encouragement all along the way. Here’s what some of our pastors have shared about Bruce:
“Bruce, your ability to be a pastoral chameleon in moving from joy to serious compassion has marked you as a man easy to connect with. Thanks for your gracious pastoring of our Fellowship.” Jack Taylor
“Bruce's spirit has been like a drink of fresh water to mine due to his zeal for the Lord's word and his joy in salvation- evidence of John 7:38 ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water’.” Paul Dirks
"Bruce - I have enjoyed working with you for many years now. You have given good leadership and compassionate shepherding, both at the Regional and Local Church levels. Thank you for your energy and faithfulness over the long haul." Mike Mawhorter
"Bruce has been a great friend and encourager. His compassionate pastor’s heart has made him a gift to me and to everyone who knows him. I’m praying God’s blessing on the ministry I know he will continue to have with others in his ‘retirement’." Larry Ballantyne
"Bruce has been so supportive to me at Burnett Fellowship. He is an amazing friend and mentor! I pray God continues to bless others through him and April at Sunnybrae. Well done Bruce!" Todd Gallahar
Doug and Sharyn Fordham have formed a very special friendship with Bruce and April over many years and so it is fitting that Doug share his own tribute in his own words. However, all of us here at the Ministry Centre share the same sentiments.
A special tribute – by Doug Fordham
“How lucky I am to have someone that makes saying goodbye so hard!” said Winnie the Pooh to his friend Piglet.
Bruce, that’s exactly how we feel about you. You are leaving us soon and it’s hard to imagine the Ministry Centre office without you. After many, many years of faithful service to our churches and to our pastors in BC and Yukon, you are transitioning to a different context in a different place. Some would call it retirement, but that word doesn’t suit you. Nor will it ever be a reality as long as you have breath in your lungs and strength in your body. Serving, loving and caring for people is who you are—it’s in your DNA.
Yet, we will no longer be working alongside you every day and this leaves us wondering, with anxiety bordering on panic.
Who’s going to take the garbage out to the street first thing in the morning?
Who’s going to eat the long-ignored yogurt in the fridge that boasts a best-before date of last March?
Who will be there for us in the office when we need a comforting hug and a prayer, or an ear that’s sympathetic to the details of our physical ailments and surgeries? (Who’s going to offer to remove our sutures with pliers from the toolbox?)
Bruce, you have filled all these roles and more, and we have loved you for it. We are so thankful for your friendship that “makes saying goodbye so hard.”
We wish you all God’s best and send you on your way with this little Irish blessing that’s quite to the point: “As you slide down the banisters of life, may the splinters never point the wrong way!”