My name is Bruce Hughes and I live in northcentral Pennsylvania. I am retired after nearly forty years of working in the education, mental health and human service fields. I accepted Christ as my savior at the age of seventeen as a result of the witnessing of my high school sweetheart, who has now been my wife for over forty-three years. We have two adult sons and five grandchildren.
I graduated from Mansfield University, Penn State and Walden University. All of my formal education cannot compare to what I have been taught by the Lord through years of walking with Him. I am sorry to say that some of the lessons I learned, I learned the hard way. I was not always the best student and certainly not always paying attention to what He was trying to teach me. Sometimes I was even guilty of deliberately not following the Lord’s leading because I didn’t like where I feared He was going to take me. I did serve Him through our local church as a Sunday School teacher, youth leader and deacon or trustee.
Unfortunately, there was one big area where I never seemed to be able to bring myself to allow Christ to work. As a child I experienced two different episodes of sexual abuse. As a preschooler it occured over a period of at least several months or more. At age twelve, it was just one night, but was severe and changed the whole course of my life. I never told anyone about my abuse until I was fifty-five years of age. The impact of the abuse caused me to blame myself and to view myself as a bad person and indeed “worthless,” as my abusers at age twelve had called me. They continued to harrass me with that label for the next three years. However, I carried that view of myself for the next forty-four years. It influenced most all major decisons I made over the years.
At age fifty-five, I became snared in a trap when I was exposed to child pornography through a pop-up on my computer as I was researching the topic of demonology for an adult Sunday School class. Through a series of events I eventually became caught up in a sin-repent cycle of visiting that website over a period of nearly a year. The website also contained postings by men who reported that they had been abused as children. They told of the impact on themselves over the years. I found their stories to be amazingly similar to my own. Unfortunately, the website in question also contained images of child pornography.
On November 19, 2001 I was visited by the FBI with a search warrant. They had been tracking all visitors to the website in question and I was told that I was going to be prosecuted. Although my wife and family and I went through a terribly tumultuous period, this was the time that the Lord taught me the most about His great love, grace and mercy. The story of how the Lord worked in my life over the next seven years is told in detail in my recently released book which I have titled The Snare Is Broken: A Journey to Freedom from Sexual Abuse and Pornography. It is pictured on the front page of this website and is available through Xulonpress.com bookstore.
Praise God, this time I listened to His leading and look forward to the “new things” He is leading me to do for him. Isaiah 43:18-19 have become very encouraging verses of promise from the Lord.