Businessman gave away millions Norwich audience told
Bruce Wick, a former ‘hell-raising’ businessman who surprisingly gave away millions after he came to personal faith in Jesus Christ, told a Norwich audience of the day he ‘felt God was asking him to give away a fortune’ to people in need. Mike Wiltshire reports.
Born in the US, in Washington State, Bruce had amassed a fortune as he developed his business in 63 nations – “money was my god and king,” admits Bruce who manufactured logging equipment and sawmills for use across south-east Asia.
Bruce and his wife, Caroline, had three sons. The family lived in the Philippines in a luxurious villa with 17 bedrooms and had more than a dozen household staff. Then Caroline, a former atheist and communist, had a dramatic conversion to Christ – and one week later led her husband Bruce to faith as well.
At the time, they were living in Davoa City, one of the largest cities in the Philippines. In the mid-1980s, it had a grim reputation as “murder capital” of the nation with dozens of killings each week.
Today, however, Davoa City has been transformed into a thriving commercial centre. The city has long had Christian influences, too, including a group of Christian business men, part of a global network of ordinary laymen in the Full Gospel Businessmen’s Fellowship (FGB). “I was mentored and discipled by these men,” says Bruce. “Their faith was so real and down to earth. They also inspired me to share the good news of the Gospel with others. I’ve been an active, lifetime member of FGB ever since.”
Bruce, then in his mid-40s, was shocked when he felt God leading him to give away millions. After “an argument with the Lord,” he didn’t know how to tell his wife about giving away a fortune, but to his amazement he discovered that Caroline, too, had felt exactly the same way. Today, Bruce advises with a smile: “I don’t recommend this extreme action to everyone – you need to clearly hear from God!”
Bruce adds: “We saw revival in Philippines with many miracles.”
One of his sons, Alwood, is a businessman involved in Christian work there today, helping under-privileged families.
Bruce’s conversion would have surprised those who taught him as a child – he was expelled from a Catholic school as a teenager after getting work on a burlesque show where he was paid three times more than his teachers were earning. After a violent row with his teachers, Bruce announced to the principal nun, Mother St Germain: “I’ll never set foot in this place again!”
He left, but years later, at the age of 52, felt led to re-visit his old school, expecting to hear that Mother St Germain had long passed away. The staff said: “No, she’s still alive – we’ll call her.”
Bruce was amazed to see the very frail and elderly nun, appear at the door. “You’re Bruce Wick!” she declared with a smile. “And I’ve prayed for you every day since you left us. I’m so sorry we treated you so roughly!”
Bruce and his family lived in south-east Asia for 23 years, before moving to Europe where Bruce was director of FGB in Spain and later became a leader of the fellowship in the Newmarket area. He now lives in Hastings, East Sussex, where a new FGB chapter has just been established.
Bruce Wick was speaking at an FGB dinner in Norwich, one of a regular series of events at the Mercure Hotel.
Pictured above, businessman Bruce Wick who was speaking in Norwich recently.