I first crossed paths with Bruce Yocum in February when on a Gap year visit to different US communities. He was addressing the People of Hope in New Jersey where I was visiting and he spoke about a new community that he was involved in founding in London, England, which was where I was from. As he spoke about this new group, I experienced a call in my heart to become part of it upon my return, and that is what I did.
This was 40 years ago and since then I had many occasions to get to know Bruce. I remember him as a prophet, who heard the Lord with a clarity that came from both a gift and a deep reverence for God’s word in Scripture. Just 10 days before he died he gave a word of encouragement to our community based on Psalm 23 that was to give us strength and consolation following the shock of his sudden loss.
I knew Bruce as a gifted teacher, who taught from Scripture with the clarity and conviction of a life based on what he was teaching, as well as an understanding of the complexity of living these things out amidst the realities of contemporary culture. Bruce was very supportive of the contribution of women leaders in the Sword of the Spirit and I appreciated working with him on international conferences and committees and the encouragement and wisdom he brought.
It was a gift for our community, Antioch, that Bruce could be with us for these last years and he had friends of all ages. He was always enthusiastic and willing to serve wherever he could. Once my husband Tom and I were running a marriage course and needed practical help and he came and served in the kitchen. He was a family friend and we enjoyed many dinners with Bruce and some lively discussion around our table as well as his entertaining stories.
Along with many who knew and loved Bruce, I thank God for the inspiration of a life well-lived and poured out in love and service for God and for his people.
Clare Bick is a Senior Woman Leader in Antioch Community and the Sword of the Spirit. Clare and her husband Tom are members of Antioch Community I London, United Kingdom.