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by Gerry Rauch

I have known Bruce since early 1968 when he attended one of the early prayer meetings in our apartment over Campus Corners Drugstore when he was 18 years old and a student at Michigan. I want to briefly tell three stories that characterize a little of what he was like.

One night we prayed over Bruce to be baptized in the Spirit, and he came away from it shining like a lightbulb. I’m referring to that look on a person’s face when he’s deeply moved, insanely happy, staring ahead, not seeing his current surroundings so much as seeing something else far off and divine, yet now as close to him as his own heart.

From that time on, Bruce became a fixture around our apartment, often talking far into the night with one of us or with another visitor, about God and about serving him. We would find him in the morning asleep on the couch, or if someone beat him to it, we would have to step over him on the floor, still asleep, to get to breakfast. In this case, and for as long as I have known him,

When it was needed, Bruce seemed to always be able to find the thing to say that would genuinely encourage you. One day, a few years later when were both on outreach in Belgium, I had just returned to Brussels on a long flight, when Cardinal Suenens asked the two of us to pray with him and a member of his staff. They wanted to experience what deliverance prayer was like. The discussion and prayer with the Cardinal went very well, and the Cardinal was personally quite pleased. However, during the time of prayer with his staff member, I had said something she found very offensive. Bruce took over and calmly righted the ship, finishing the prayer time with words that hit a bullseye for her. She went away deeply affected. As we drove home, I was feeling down about my faux pas, but Bruce encouraged me, recalling how worn out I was. He said he admired my courage to take on such a significant meeting in my state of exhaustion.

Bruce teaching at a Word of God community meeting.

As you know, Bruce was blessed with a genuine prophetic gift that God used for building up Christians around the world. He also gave important personal messages to people, including me. During our wedding, for which Bruce was Best Man, Bruce knelt beside my bride Marla and me and whispered a surprising and powerful prophecy about overcoming unforeseen and long-lasting hardships. It was a gift by which we have been repeatedly strengthened throughout our now fifty-year marriage.

We had recently acknowledged to each other that we were looking forward to meeting later this year and having one of those into-the-night discussions. He will be sorely missed.

Gerry Rauch has been involved in the Catholic Charismatic Renewal from its first days in 1967, including 25 years with The Word of God in Ann Arbor and five years with the Jerusalem community in Belgium. He currently lives in Michigan and is married to Marla Rauch [Olmsted]. They have six children and 15 grandchildren.

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