God’s Timing: Moving Into A Second Career

Posted in: Country Matters
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Date: July 14, 2017
God's Timing

If you cannot view “God’s Timing” above, you can read the copy of the article below:

As the meat director for 14 grocery stores, Bruce Swan found himself at the prime of his career. He had a powerful position, good money, a new company car and paid vacations around the world.

Yet, after years of hard work and advancement, Bruce and Debra gave it all up to join Village Missions and begin rural ministry in a town most people have never heard of.

A Summer to Remember

From the back of the ambulance, Bruce felt his life plan slip through his fingers. A devastating injury during the championship football game had forced him to be carted off the field. Bruce knew his college scholarship was gone, and he would never play football again. While Bruce was still in the hospital, a youth pastor he’d never met, named Rob, came to his room to share the Gospel. Rob invited Bruce to church, and Bruce agreed. Later that summer, Bruce would give his life to the Lord.

Around the same time, a young lady in the church named Debra also became a believer. She and Bruce would meet at a discipleship class for new believers.

A Simple Song

Since he had worked in the grocery store since age 12, Bruce decided to go to meat-cutting school.

The Swan family entered a second career in God's Timing

Bruce & Debra Swan with children Joshua and Stacy

Bruce married Debra, had two kids and began to excel in his career. His Christian work ethic was noticed by all, especially his boss, who quickly promoted him. Both Bruce and Debra were involved in their local church and Bruce was even on the board when the Pleasant Valley Bible Church in Bethel, ME, accepted leadership from Village Missions.

Life was good.

But a simple worship song at a missions’ conference would forever change the course of their lives.

The lyrics read, “I’ll go where you want me to go.”

“I couldn’t sing,” Bruce said. “God instantly broke me. I sat down and realized I had never really said that.”

Bruce and Debra began to fervently ask what God wanted for their lives.

One day, Bruce walked to the kitchen and said, “I know what God wants us to do.” Debra replied, ‘Me too!’”

Bruce immediately began to attend Bible classes and discipleship courses and applied to serve with Village Missions.He and Debra were eventually placed at their first field in Springfield, Maine.

God’s Timing & Impact: More than Three Days

Bruce Swan left a successful job to become a Village Missionary in Go's timing.

Stock image of a 1980’s meat counter

As Bruce’s boss heard about his trusted employee’s new journey, he did everything he could to change Bruce’s mind, even offering a substantial raise, though Bruce declined. He just couldn’t understand why a successful man would “throw away” his career.

One day, Bruce pointed to the meat on the shelves. Every three days, whatever meat was left had to be thrown out. Bruce explained that he now had a passion do something that had a longer shelf life–-to minister to people whose souls were eternal.

With that, the boss gave his blessing.

Prepared for Ministry In God’s Timing

Bruce could have become a believer at a younger age, but he may have never met Debra. God could have placed ministry on his heart before Bruce had chosen another career, but he never would have had his ministry within the grocery stores.

In God’s perfect timing, He led Bruce and Debra to each other and to Village Missions. “There is no perfect ministry, but when God calls, you obey. And we were certain of that calling.”

A Second Career Found in God’s Timing

Is God calling you to a second career in ministry?

Village Missions may be the perfect fit for you, because in rural ministry, you are able to use many of the same skills that led you to your former career. We have had former ranchers, teachers, lawyers and veterans find the answer to God’s call on their lives in Village Missions. “Village Missions was a fulfillment of what God made my wife and me to do,” said Bruce. “To be able to enjoy the things God has called you to is amazing.”

To learn more about a second career in Village Missions and watch the stories of others who have made the transition, visit our Second Career page today.

If you enjoyed “God’s Timing,” we invite you to read “No Regrets: A Second Career with Village Missions” and “Nothing Wasted: An Unexpected Second Career”. Here you will find the stories of Village Missionaries Ken and Kris Ainsworth and Ryan and Jenneke Schnee, describing their journey from their original careers to ministry.

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