Update and Farewell from Bruce and Shay – Healing Spring Christian Ministries
See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? (Isaiah 43:19)
After seven amazing years of ministry, today marks our last day at Healing Spring. We are incredibly sad to have to say farewell, but we are also thrilled about the new adventure God has set out before us. So how did we get to this moment of transition?
For several years, God had been speaking to us about a big change He would soon be making in our life and ministry. As is often His way, however, He held off giving us any specifics. Then, at the beginning of 2017, He finally began to give us some details. To our surprise, He revealed to us that our time at Healing Spring would soon be drawing to a close. It was a very hard thing to accept at first! But God made it clear that He was leading us in a new direction.
Early in 2017, we shared with our Board of Directors about what God was saying to us. Over the following couple of months, we led our Board and ministry team in a season of prayer and fasting in order to seek the Lord’s clarity and direction for us and for the ministry. As a result of that season, God confirmed that it was time for us to begin the transition process, and we joyfully discerned that God was calling Peter and Connie Bondzinski to step into leadership in our place. We couldn’t have been more thrilled! Peter and Connie are an amazing couple, and we had been sensing for a while that God would be raising them up in some leadership capacity. After a year and a half of transition, Peter and Connie will be fully in charge of Healing Spring beginning January 1, 2019.
As we reflect on our tenure at Healing Spring, we are absolutely awed by all that God has done. Over the past 7 years, God brought large numbers of people to the ministry for prayer, and we have had the joy of witnessing all kinds of incredible healings! We have also experienced the Holy Spirit moving powerfully through the many conferences, schools and events that Healing Spring hosted.
Most amazing to us, though, was the incredible ministry team that God put together. As we now step away from Healing Spring, we can honestly say that we have never been part of a ministry team that has been so amazingly healthy. Our team members are truly unified in the Holy Spirit and authentic in their love for one another. We believe the health of our team to be a profound demonstration of God’s grace and favor, and we see it as a beautiful and miraculous gift straight from His heart. We are deeply humbled that God chose to use us to build such a remarkable team.
From the depth of our hearts, we pray and believe that Healing Spring – the team and the ministry – will continue to grow and thrive and that many, many more people will be touched by the healing love and grace of our God. We will miss you all dearly!
Over the past month, we have relocated to Raleigh, NC and will be setting up a new ministry here in the near future. As to what our ministry will specifically look like, we are still waiting on the Lord for clarity. But there are many pieces that seem to be already in place. We would call these pieces ‘core’ elements of who we have become.
The first of these ‘core’ elements is our now extensive experience in the ministry of healing. We are deeply passionate about praying for people’s lives to be transformed by the healing love of God. We have been trained in many different ministry methods and we have prayed for the sick in a wide variety of different circumstances and locations. While we still have more to learn (God constantly stretches us!), our healing ‘toolkit’ is now very large, and it is something we can carry with us wherever we go.
Secondly, we are called to minister to the wider body of Christ. God has placed on our hearts a burden to see the Body of Christ healed, whole, and truly unified in Him as was always His intention. Right now the church is deeply broken and very far from unified. But Jesus prayed that all His followers would be one, and we share His heart. We believe we were able to taste and see this unity at Healing Spring, and we are eager to take our experience into the wider church.
Thirdly, we have received a deep and growing revelation and impartation of the love of God the Father. Through our involvement with Fatherheart Ministries, we have begun to experience what it is really like to live life ‘loved’ by the Father. To put it another way, we have begun to see that there is an incredible ‘quality’ of eternal life that the Father intends for his beloved children to live in and enjoy RIGHT NOW, not just someday in heaven. This is a ‘quality’ that is rooted not in material or earthly things, but is only to be found in love itself. The heart of the Father is the source of that love. Love is seen perfectly in one person, our savior and brother Jesus. It is experienced by us through the in-dwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. Love is the only answer, the only way! This truth now pulses through our veins, and we long to share this good news far and wide. In order to dive even deeper into this revelation, we’ll be spending a month in New Zealand in May at the next Fatherheart ‘Gathering’ and also attending a Fatherheart Ministries Summit in September.
But there is still one more ‘core’ element that God has instilled in us, and this is the deep love God has given us for the nation and people of Madagascar. On our numerous trips to that country, we have witnessed many miracles – salvations, healings, deliverances – and have ministered to and taught many people. But what has probably touched our hearts most deeply has been the missionaries we have lived among and for whom we have had the privilege of praying. They have shared with us their successes and their struggles, their joys and their often heart-wrenching and even sometimes terrifying experiences. We have seen and heard about the incredible toll that life on the mission field can exact, and we have been deeply and forever impacted. Our hearts now long to support those who have quite literally given up everything in order to love and serve the people to whom they have been called. How will we do this in the years ahead? We don’t yet know. But without a doubt, Madagascar will continue to play a large role in our life for the foreseeable future. Our next trip is planned for June 2019.
In another exciting and more recent development, over the next year we will be serving with a ministry called The World Race, which is an initiative of the Gainseville, GA-based Adventures in Missions (AIM). We were recruited to serve as ‘coaches’ for an 18-member squad of young ‘racers’ who will be heading out on an incredible 11-month mission trip. During this trip they will minister in a different country each month. (Yes, that’s 11 countries in 11 months!). Our role is to train, mentor and support the squad, offering pastoral support and healing prayer, and helping them navigate through the various trials and hardships that are a part of mission life. These trials will be particularly amplified because of the intense nature of this particular program. We are very excited (and a bit nervous) about this opportunity. It is not hard to see how this new role fits with the call and passion God has given us. But with all new things, we don’t exactly know what to expect. We can’t say at this point whether the World Race ultimately represents another ministry preparation step for us or a new ministry direction of sorts (though we know we will grow either way). Time will tell. But what we do know is that we have been given an amazing opportunity to pour the love of the Father into the hearts of these incredible racers! If you want to follow along with the racers as they journey over the next 11 months, you can visit our squad page here.
There are other ministry elements whirling about in our lives as well. We both feel called to write – and Shay is now actively pursuing that path. You can read her blog at https://lemursandlatte.blogspot.com and follow her on her Facebook ‘writer’ page at https://www.facebook.com/lemursandlatte/. Be sure to like her page! Bruce will also be writing soon, so stay tuned.
But there is a seed of something even bigger growing in us as well. It has been birthed in love. It is being watered by love. And we believe that the Father intends it to be a lavish expression of His love. Tiava is the word He has given us to describe it. (Tiava is the active and imperative word for ‘love’ in the Malagasy language of Madagascar that is used in the command to ‘love God and your neighbor’ and ‘love one another as I have loved you’). As this Tiava seed is watered and grows we’ll be sharing much more with you about it. We’re also hoping you will join with us in what God is about to do, and we’ll let you know how in the months to come.
As you know, life never seems to follow a straight path. (It would honestly be pretty boring if it did.) There are so many twists and turns that it is practically impossible, and ultimately useless, to try to predict what lies ahead. As we have looked back, we can see how we got where we are now (though we are truly astonished by the journey). Looking ahead, we cannot say where we will end up. But there is one constant through it all. That constant is the One who loves us. He is the one totally reliable, completely dependable, and forever-lasting truth. He is the only truth that really matters – the only truth that can sustain us through every twist and turn, every up and down, and every step forward and step backward. God is love, and love is the only truth. True love is only found in the One who IS love, our loving God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit!
Thank you to everyone who has supported our ministry over the years. You mean a lot to us, and we are so grateful for you. You have blessed us and impacted us in more ways than we can describe. We will miss all of you in upstate NY, but we will definitely be back to visit. So this is not a final farewell, but merely a “till next time.”
In the meantime, we really want to keep in touch with you. We have set up a new email update list that we’d love to have you join. You can sign up by clicking on this link or the button below. We’ll be sure to keep you updated on our life and ministry and let you know about anything new that we have written. We’ll also post photos, share prayer requests, let you know about speaking engagements and tell you about other ways that you can connect with us.
God’s abundant love, blessings and peace be with you all!
Bruce and Shay