The Online Bridge: Spring 2006
Issue 13, April 2006

making a difference through obedience, faith, and love


It's a jungle out there!
Pauline Bruhn

What an awesome thing to be able to write for one of my alma maters. We serve a very big God and it is amazing to watch how He puts together all the pieces of our lives. I attended Taylor University College (then NABC) from 1981-1983 and graduated with a Diploma in Music. I was determined to go to Taylor (NABC) since I was in the 9th grade. Our pastor at the time had gone to CTI, and we also had a group from Taylor come to our church in Minnesota. I knew at that point that I wanted to attend the school. Growing up on a farm, I knew it wouldn't exactly be easy to go, but I also knew that if that was where the Lord wanted me then He would provide the way and the means to be able to go. He did just that. I, of course, had help from my parents, but the Lord provided in many ways for me to attend Taylor and it was such a blessing for my life. I look back at my years at Taylor with a lot of fondness and realize the tremendous amount of spiritual growth that I had while there. I was part of the Oratorio choir and also part of a women's ensemble "Jubilation." I remember learning a lot, and also I remember us students thinking that we were certain, that it was sort of what heaven was going to be like, except without classes and tests.

Amazon Region, EcuadorI remember our Baccalaureate speaker saying "unless you've been called to go, you are called to stay." I thought "OK, great...I am certain I haven't been called to go so I'll stay." I realize now that this was the first step in the Lord really touching my heart for foreign missions service. In 1997 I went with my church to Ecuador to work with HCJB on a short-term team project. It was during that time that the Lord really touched my heart to "go." We worked on building the foundation for a work-team house in Papallacta. As you drive in to the area you look down and see the hydro-electric plant, I heard a voice so clear saying "you could do this." I turned around, but no one behind me had said it. The voice came again, "you could do this." I thought Lord, you can't be serious. Yes, I can do it for two weeks. "I'm here for two weeks, you couldn't possibly expect more than that, could you?"

During our two week stay in Ecuador. I realized more and more that the Lord was leading me to full-time Christian service and how short our lives are in comparison to God's whole scheme, and I needed to be busy about doing His work. I laid down my life for Christ on that trip and decided that I had been the one to say "no" to missions, but that wasn't my job to do, it was His.

I returned back home I was informed that the company I was working for would be closing. So now what? I sent my application to HCJB and prayed that the Lord open only the correct door. The door that opened was for Missions. In October of 1997, I attended orientation and was accepted with HCJB World Radio. I spent the next year raising support to be able to "go."

In January of 1999 I left for Costa Rica, where I attended language school, and in January of 2000 made my way to Ecuador. I am a Registered Nurse and am currently in charge of the Pharmacy here at Hospital Vozandes del Oriente in Shell. I never thought I would be a missionary on the edge of the Amazon jungle, let alone in a place with so much historic significance in the Mission world. The story of the 5 missionaries that were martyred by the Auca's (Waorani) is a widely known story especially among missionaries. At times, I am struck by the work that is done here, and how the Lord truly takes care of us and works in the situations here. So often, He has taught me when we as medical professionals think a situation is hopeless, He always shows us that He is the one who is in control and, more often than I can count, the patient always pulls through and does well.

Life on the edge of the Amazon jungle has many rewards and many challenges. My greatest blessings while serving on the field has been being able to share the Love of the Lord Jesus Christ with people, and seeing them come to know Jesus as their personal Savior. I have been able to share peace with people who are suffering and praying for patients before they go into surgery, or when a loved one is ill. The biggest challenges have come when dealing with children, when a family may not have the funds to keep the child in the hospital because they have several others at home. To my Western thinking it just doesn't compute, but I have learned that each one of us, whether small or big in the kingdom, is special to Christ. We are called to be obedient to His call, whether He has called us to "go" and serve, or "stay" and serve. The most important thing is that we are obedient to where He has placed us and doing what He has called us to do.

Read more from Pauline on the HCJB World Radio website or take a tour of the Hospital Vozandes del Oriente.