It Is Written Adds Speaker Boonstra to Share Ministry with Finley
Shawn Boonstra has accepted an invitation from the It Is Written executive committee to become It Is Written International Television’s new associate speaker.
"I am overjoyed that Shawn is joining our staff at the It Is Written headquarters,” said Mark Finley, It Is Written’s speaker and director. “It is extremely difficult to find someone who has both evangelistic and television experience. We at the ministry are convinced that God prepared Shawn for this assignment and guided in his selection.”
As associate speaker, Boonstra will appear regularly on the weekly television program and will participate in evangelistic meetings, camp meetings, pastors’ seminars, international appointments and fund-raising meetings. “I am totally committed to It Is Written’s evangelistic ministry,” said Boonstra. “It Is Written exists for one reason only—to win people to Christ.”
Finley was recently named director of global evangelism for the Adventist Church, and Boonstra will assume more responsibility within It Is Written as Finley’s global evangelism duties increase. Although his schedule may change over the coming years, Finley plans to remain an integral part of the It Is Written ministry.
Boonstra, a native of British Columbia, joined the Adventist Church 11 years ago after attending an It Is Written evangelistic series in the city of Victoria. After he and his wife, Jean, were baptized, both decided to commit their lives to gospel ministry.
Soon after, Boonstra graduated with a degree in political science from the University of Victoria, and he later attended Andrews University, where he gained theological training.
“As I look back over my life, I’m excited by the way God has led,” said Boonstra. “Would you believe that It Is Written was my first contact with the Adventist Church? I have distinct memories of watching It Is Written with my brother on Sunday afternoons. Little did I realize where that first contact would eventually lead. It Is Written has played a substantial role in my spiritual life.”
In the early stages of his ministry, Boonstra worked as an assistant pastor and an evangelistic intern. He was later assigned three small Adventist churches in northern British Columbia, where he traveled many miles in a district that took seven hours to traverse.
Despite the fact that his congregations were small, Boonstra’s dreams were big, and his yearly evangelistic meetings attracted many new church members.
Approximately six years ago, Boonstra received an invitation from It Is Written Canada to become associate speaker under the leadership of then-speaker Henry Feyerabend.
Over the last few years, It Is Written Canada has grown exponentially. In a country of 30 million people, the program enjoys a market penetration of 34 percent. It has been estimated that as many as two million people watch the program on a weekly basis, and, on one network, it held the highest ratings for 25 weeks.
In 2001, Boonstra became the speaker for It Is Written Canada. In 2002, he and Feyerabend held a special “Net” satellite evangelistic series in downtown Halifax called Revelation Speaks Peace. More than 1,200 sites downlinked each of the programs, and it is believed that thousands joined the Adventist Church in Canada as a result.
Boonstra will still appear on the Canadian telecast as an international speaker and will return to hold evangelistic meetings as his schedule allows. In an effort to assist with the program in Canada and its ever-increasing evangelistic opportunities, Bill Santos has accepted the position of associate speaker for It Is Written Canada.
Boonstra’s wife, Jean, is an accomplished Adventist writer. Her popular Adventist Girl book series documents the history of the Millerite movement through the eyes of a young girl.
After the Boonstra family has had time to settle into their new California home, she plans to work part time as a research assistant and children’s ministries coordinator for It Is Written. Both Shawn and Jean love children, and they have two daughters—Natalie, 4, and Naomi, 2.
It Is Written is committed to finding creative ways to impact the world for God. In 2004, the ministry will hold major meetings in Denver, Venezuela and Rwanda.
Other upcoming developments include a special 15-minute devotional program, “The Word Alive.” This program, which It Is Written will produce for the Hope Channel, will be co-hosted by Finley and Boonstra.
It Is Written has been one of America’s most popular weekly religious television programs since its first broadcast with George Vandeman in 1956. It also holds the distinction of being the first religious television program to be produced in color. Led by speaker and director Mark Finley, this donor-supported, non-profit program can be seen in 130 countries and in 7,000 cities across America. In the last 12 months, the ministry has received three Angel awards, three Telly awards, two Vision awards, two Aurora awards and one Videographer award.
Join Finley and Boonstra this spring as they tackle some tough questions and provide practical answers in a new series, The Clash of Cultures. For more information about It Is Written or to watch online, please visit www.itiswritten.com.