My Faith Story
by Bobby Bruno
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Describe your family. Where were you raised, nature of your family, siblings, neighborhood you lived in, etc.
I was raised in Ambler, Pa until I got married at age 23. We were not a close family as my sisters, brother, and I spent most of our time outside or in our rooms. Our parents did not play with us very much. Sexual abuse ran in the family (my motherís and fatherís fathers were both abusers) and no one was exempt from it. I grew up in a neighborhood that had lots of kids so we had plenty of others to have fun with. Because of the abuse I had endured, I spent most of my childhood alone in my bedroom listening to music, reading and drawing.
Were your parentís people of faith?
They started out as Lutherans, and we went to church every Sunday until my father saw the reverend smack my sister across the face after she had smacked his daughter in the same way. My sister and the reverendís daughter (whom we used to call Prissy Priscilla) didnít get along because Priscilla would always push in my sisterís face the fact the she was the reverendís daughter.
How often did you attend church?
We went to church up until I was eight years old. Because of what had happened above, my father couldnít believe that a man of God could do this do a child, so we left the church and never went back.
Describe your occupation?
I am a shipping/receiving clerk for a major pharmaceutical company. I receive and deliver packages for the parts of the building I am responsible for.
What do you feel that you do well?
The things I do well are write, talk about God, and play the drums. I played the drums on the worship team for two churches I attended, which covered about ten years. I stopped playing then when the church went in a new direction (more youthful) and I was told that I didnít ďrockĒ enough for the new sound. Up until that point, I had been playing the drums since I was twelve (41 years) and I didnít rock enough? I now play in the current church my wife and I now attend. I also love to write about God. In 1999, God gave me an idea for a book called Faith, Hope & Love. We outlined it and put all of the scriptures in place. It wasnít until 2011 that I was able to begin writing it as a series of articles on a website called www.faithreaders.com, where they have found great success and readership for the last three years. I continue to work on the last 10 articles as I have time between school assignments. I have written one complete science fiction novel and have started, but not yet finished, two more.
Do you feel that you have discovered Godís purpose for your life?
Yes, I have. Because of the sexual abuse in my life I have always wanted to help those heal from their abusive pasts before they get too old to enjoy their lives. I didnít re-discover my abuse until I was 39 years of age. I refuse to let anyone else get to 39 before they begin to heal from the disaster that their lives have become due to someone elseís illness. God has recently revealed that I am to continue on in school and get my Bachelorís Degree in Psychology since I would need the degree to even get my foot in the door at those places where I can do the most good. I know that I am to use my past to positively affect the future of those who are hurting terribly and whose lives have no direction because of the many, many issues that an abused person has to deal with (65 issues by my last count). I agree with what Pastor Charles Stanley when he said that an abused childís live is like a shattered mirror. It is difficult to put the pieces back together again in the same way they started. Only God can put their lives back together again in such a way that their lives now resemble the person God had originally created them to be: men and women with a purpose and a history that many others need to hear, when God heals them to the point where they can know go out and bring healing to others.
How do you enjoy spending your time?
Reading, reading, reading (98% Christian books). Watching TV and movies with my wife (no R-rated movies for us; and even some PG-13ís are questionable).
When was the first time you encountered God?
Back in 1983, I began to read the Bible and studied it for a year. I said the prayer with a Kenneth Copeland broadcast and got saved, but like the seed that fell among the stony path, surviving the abuse took over again and I fell away and didnít think about God until 1998 when I attempted suicide 5 times. In 1999, God called and this time I answered with my life. Now, here I am saved, alive, and ready to do whatever it is that God calls me to do.
The greatest need in your life isÖ
The greatest need in my life is get to a sexually abused child before he/she becomes an adult and let them know that there is healing in Jesus Christ. Then, with my Psychology degree, would start a ministry where I would minister to them in an active way; more than just sitting down and talking about the abuse, I want to help them find Godís purpose for their lives and to show them that they can find love, first in God, and then in other people. This need is so great that it is a constant tugging at my heart that I canít get rid of. I want to get started now, but God wants me to get me Bachelorís degree first. I have tried to get my foot in the door of ministries and jobs where I can fulfill my dream, but without the degree the doors remain shut.
How do you picture God? (as a judge, king, parent, comforter, task-master, etc)
I picture God as the most loving being in the entire universe. His mercy and forgiveness is the cornerstone of the reason I am still alive today. God has never shown me anything but love and acceptance in a world that didnít give me either. Thanks to God the Father, I know the true love of a Father that is willing to be a part of my life. God is my cheerleader, my referee, my coach, my guide, but most of all, He is my leader; I wouldnít know what to do without Him in my life.
What approach to faith would have turned you away from God?
If youíd have taken me to a healing service, I probably would have been turned off. I have been to too many healing services where no one got healed for whatever reason, whether itís because ďGod wasnít in the moodĒ, or because the service was to show manís pride in being able to get God to do whatever the healer wanted Him to.
What approach caught your attention?
I was separated and getting divorced, so I decided to go to a Parents without Partners Christmas party. After that, I went to a three week PWP newcomers group to learn more about their programs so I wouldnít have to sit home alone all the time when my kids werenít with me. In those meetings I met a woman named Rita with whom I just traded pleasantries for the three weeks. The day after the third and last meeting, Rita called me and said, ďI donít usually call men I donít know, but would you like to come to lunch tomorrow?Ē I said sure. At lunch, she began by saying that she saw something in me that I was looking for. That sure made me curious! We ordered, and as we began to eat and talk, Rita said the name of Jesus Christ. This was at 12 noon exactly. The next time we looked at the clock it was 1:30. Neither one of us can tell you what was said in that past hour and a half. We left the diner, I went home, and three hours later I gave my life to Jesus, and I havenít looked back since. Ritaís kind and gentle nature drew me in to wanting to go to that lunch. Thatís the way evangelism should be done, one on one, with gentleness and words that simply say what you mean to say. But, most of all, the Holy Spirit must be the one to guide both parties in the love and grace of Jesus Christ.
Steps in the Journey
Identify specify experiences through out your life. Place a check at the points in your life where you remember experiencing Godís presence and guidance. Write a word or phrase that identifies people or events which have influenced you.
Experience/ Your Age
Stopped going to church/ 8
Got married (1st marriage)/ 23
Daughter born/ 25
Son born/ 27
Received Jesus Christ/ 39
Baptized as an adult/ 40
Small group leader (1st time)/ 41
Began writing Faith, Hope & Love articles/ 51
Began classes at Ohio Christian University (Biblical Studies)/ 52
Completed classes at Ohio Christian University (Biblical Studies)/ 55
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