UPDATE: Here's the new speaker/director.
Shawn Boonstra is stepping down from his role as speaker and director of It Is Written due to personal health issues.
Boonstra posted both a letter and a video message about some apparent rumors that have been spreading by email forwards.
“I'm not dying, I don't have cancer, and I don't have a life-threatening disease,” Boonstra said. “I am, however, dealing with a serious health challenge, and it has gotten to a point where I must take a sabbatical to give my body time to rest.”
Though Boonstra expressed appreciation over the calls and emails he’s received, he said it’s not in his nature to be open about his personal health and asked to respect his privacy at this time.
According to the It Is Written website, a search committee is considering a number of evangelists to be the new speaker/director of the ministry.
Steve Haley, president of the Kentucky-Tennessee Conference, recently wrote, "Elder John Bradford....is being considered as a replacement.” Haley was referring to John Bradshaw, the senior pastor of the College Place Village church in College Place, Wash.
Despite having to find a new leader for the ministry, It Is Written is continuing plans for its new series, “Babylon is Rising,” to be broadcast live from Las Vegas in May 2011.
Ironically, It Is Written had posted a video about gossip on its YouTube and Facebook pages just a few weeks ago. The video is part of series of daily video devotionals called “A Better Way to Live.”
Dear Friends of It Is Written,
Mere words cannot express my appreciation for all the calls and e-mails of support that arrived in the It Is Written office after the e-mail I sent yesterday. It's been so overwhelming that we can hardly keep up, but please know that your messages have buoyed my heart.
Since it appears that some rumors are still circulating, I wanted to reaffirm yesterday's news:
Due to health issues, I am relinquishing my duties as Speaker/Director of It Is Written. I take this step with considerable regret because I believe the work of It Is Written is the most important and the most exciting work on earth. Again, I would like to thank all of those who support this ministry, and all of those who have prayed for me these last few months!
It is not in my nature to be open about my personal health, but I wanted to restate the following because I know people have expressed concern: I'm not dying, I don't have cancer, and I don't have a life-threatening disease. I am, however, dealing with a serious health challenge, and it has gotten to a point where I must take a sabbatical to give my body time to rest.
I am currently in the care of some of the best physicians around, and the thing I would most treasure right now is your continued prayers for my health and my family. Thank you for respecting our privacy at this time.
Again, let me assure you that the It Is Written ministry will not skip a beat in its passion for soul-winning. Our search committee has been prayerfully considering a number of outstanding evangelists, and I have no doubt that the Lord is leading in these efforts—just as He has led throughout the history of this incredible ministry.
Stay tuned, because we expect to have some exciting news along these lines in the coming weeks. As soon as the new Speaker/Director is chosen, you'll be one of the first to know!
It Is Written's current projects are still on track. Your support this month is especially crucial as the ministry moves forward with its bold evangelistic plans for Las Vegas, our growing My Place With Jesus ministry, mission outreach to Papua New Guinea, and other efforts around the world.
With God in charge, a new Speaker/Director to come, an excellent staff in place, and a wise and experienced board, I can't wait to see how God's work moves forward through It Is Written. Thank you once again for all your love and support.
Your brother in Christ,
Pastor Shawn Boonstra