Meet Joe & Holly Ruddock:

"Joe And I moved to the Kitsap Peninsula about 7 years ago from Everett. I served on staff at a large church and Joe worked in the carpenters union. We have four children who all serve or have served in the military.   We felt the a move to a quieter area would be best for our military family to come home and find rest.  Our middle son was injured in war about eight years ago. His injuries mixed with our work schedule has made it difficult to commit to Sunday services. But life, as it does, changes and things get better and you learn to live a “new normal”. And like the saying goes you “keep moving forward.”

I started attending Hillcrest the summer of 2017. My husband was running a large job down in San Francisco and I found myself needing the connection of church more and more. I was a caregiver and worked part time until I had to take medical leave due to illness. These two circumstances can bring on a lot of isolation, making it difficult to connect.  When you do connect, you need people of understanding and empathy.  That first Sunday I just wept during worship.  It had been a rough month with my son and my husband out of town. Jesus just told me to keep saying his name; that His name was prayer enough in my situation. Then Andrea sang “What a powerful name it is, the name of Jesus” I snuck out of church all puffy eyed but not without filling out a connection card.  Pastor Tammy called and we connected after that first Sunday.  We visited for nearly two hours. I felt instantly loved. Making the next visit the last “visit”, for I considered Hillcrest home.

A car accident spurred a job change and brought my husband home from San Francisco, March 2018. This is when we were both really able to plug into Hillcrest. We’ve seen Pastor Brian sermons hit the nail on the head 1000 times over in our lives from anxiety, death of loved ones, hurt and brokenness from the church and here recently, the giant series. These past two years, Hillcrest has brought back many areas of our lives that had been laid to rest during our 8 year season of learning a new normal. I love seeing Joe back in the sound booth again. An area he has enjoyed serving in for over 20 years. Seeing him connect and visit with the men of Hillcrest makes my heart explode. As for me, mentoring and teaching has always been my heartbeat and having the opportunity to write and teach a bible study has ignited an area that has only been an ember for these past few years.

Our love for our church, her leaders and people continues to grow deeper. We are so grateful to God for Pastor Brian and Andrea and Tammy and the entire staff. They have pulled us in, restored and revived some very war weary people. The precious friendships that we have developed has been a treasure. Jesus has been so very good to us,  setting us in such a lovely little barn with some pretty amazing sheep."