From Passion to Mission: The Ministry of Bruce Marchiano
- Thursday, February 17, 2005
Eva Marie: I was reading one of your stories about the day you were transporting a friend's wife over there, when suddenly your car was surrounded.
Bruce: Yeah, the guys came out of the bush...people were getting killed right in front of my eyes. It's hard to explain here in America. We don't understand the level of security we have. It's one of the few places in the world where you can call the police and they actually come. So, the Lord has had His hands covering me more than a few times in Africa.
Eva Marie: Yet you continue to go back. Have you gone back since that incident?
Bruce: Yeah, as a matter of fact, the last time I was there I almost got killed. I was attacked by two guys with knives and it's a miracle that I'm alive to talk about it. You know, yeah, I do go back because there's just nothing like watching a life changing before your eyes. Whether that's an African life or an American life; a soul is a soul and I'll go anywhere where there's an open door...as long as the Lord gives me that open door.
Eva Marie: What did you expect life to be like after Matthew?
Bruce: Gee, I haven't thought about that. So many years have passed in retrospect. (Ponders for a moment) I didn't expect to be in this industry. I didn't expect to be running around, sharing the Gospel of Christ. I expected...see, our plan was to put the whole Bible on film. When we completed Matthew, they asked me if I would be part of the production team as a writer and director, so I anticipated just leaving everything in terms of a secular career and putting the Bible on film. (Smiles) Obviously, it didn't happen, but that's what I had in mind.
Eva Marie: How did you know you were called to go back...this time in a different capacity...to Africa?
Bruce: That term, "called." I don't know if I ever had a sense of "calling." I just went with the flow. There was an invitation on the table.
Eva Marie: How long was that after you returned to America?
Bruce: A year.
Eva Marie: And what did you do in that year?
Bruce: (Laughing) Tried to resurrect my acting. We spent three or four months filming Matthew and two months before that getting ready, so by the time I got back...it's an out of sight/out of mind business. So, when I got back I had to seek the Lord and see what I had to do to resurrect my career. Then I had this invitation on the table to go back to Africa.
Eva Marie: Tell me more about Riekie van den Berg.
Bruce: (A huge smile spreads across his face as he pronounces the name correctly for me) It takes several years to learn to say her name. (Laughs). Riekie is an amazing lady. Riekie just has a heart for women and children, so she began a ministry. Once abortion was legalized in Africa, she began a ministry toward trying to help save those babies...toward trying to help the mothers. Riekie spends all day, every day, rescuing babies. Taking them out of trashcans and adopting them out and leading the mothers to the Lord. And, I teamed up with her for that purpose.
Eva Marie: Do American families come over as well for the purpose of adoption?
Bruce: (Nodding) There are a handful of American families. I don't know a lot about the adoption process, but it is easier for them to be adopted to the European families.
Eva Marie: You also work with Outreach Ministries. Tell me about the first time someone handed you a microphone and said, "Talk."
Bruce: I was like, "Duhhhh...." I remember one time I was going to speak in front of a group and I didn't know what to say. So I asked the Lord, "What should I tell these people?" because I had no experience speaking to people. I'll never forget this. "Lord, what should I say?" And...I hope I can put this in words...it was like He whispered, "It doesn't matter what you say. What matters is who you are in front of me. They're not listening to what you say, they're watching who you are." How many times do our messages get lost due to a sense of arrogance? Jesus was very real with the people. He didn't put on airs. That's the way I need to be. So, I have got to just be real...
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