Bruce Van Natta
He is a common, everyday person that serves the Living God who is anything but ordinary.
His journey from prodigal son to full time ministry stretched out over three decades berfore culminating in a display of God’s power and grace.
Starting at an early age in Bruce’s life the Lord proved Himself faithful repeatedly, despite tragedies and countless bad choices and decisions made by Bruce.
After high school the Lord called Bruce into ministry, but instead of being obedient he ran away and chose his own path which led to more problems and addictions.
As the years passed the Lord kept calling and knocking at the door of Bruce’s heart. Slowly things began to change as the Holy Spirit continued the sanctification process in Bruce’s life.
Eventually he was brought to the startling revelation that God’s grace and mercy are not reserved only for those who have made all the right choices, can recite 100 Bible verses, or stand behind a pulpit—-God’s love is for everyday people, everyday!
In 2006 Bruce was crushed underneath a semi-truck and was at the verge of life and death when he had an “out of body” experience. During this near death experience he got to see the two angels that the Lord had sent to save his life. Bruce is the only person Doctors can find who has ever lived from some of the injuries he had. (If you wish to hear more about this go to the “Media Center” and view or listen to Bruce’s 30 minute testimony.)
Bruce wrote the book “Saved By Angels” which is available at most book stores and on the net. The story has garnered international attention recently so Bruce has been on; Sid Roth’s “It’s Supernatural” TV and radio shows, the Trinity Broadcasting Network, and 5 episodes of the “It’s a New Day” TV show. He has also been on “100 Huntley Street” and the “Nite Lite” TV shows as well as several radio shows and his story has aired on the “700 Club” several times. In Decmber 2009 “Guideposts” magazine did a feature article on him for their Christmas issue and “Charisma Magazine” told his story in July 2010.
Since recovering from this accident he and his family have gone into full-time ministry sharing their gripping testimony wherever the Lord leads. They have felt led to not only minister to the body of Christ but also to those in need, resulting in building an orphanage in Honduras and a church in India with home equity as well as doing prison and jail ministry.
He and his wife Lori and their four children-Lauren, Caleb, Jacob, and Emily live in Wisconsin.
He has been in full time Christian ministry since 1970. He served as a teacher in a Christian elementary school from 1970-1980. In 1980 Bruce was called out of the classroom to the position of full time Lay Evangelist at the same location in Queens, N.Y. In 1986 he received a call to Orange County, N.Y. to continue in the same capacity as Evangelist/Worship Leader/Bible Teacher.
He also writes contemporary Christian worship music and has three CDs available, “Crosswind”, “Praise in the City”, and “Pardoned”. All proceeds go to mission work in India, one of the countries to which Bruce and his wife have traveled on short-term mission trips.
The gift of healing was released into Bruce’s life while on one such trip to England in 1987. He has continued to use this gift out of obedience to scripture and has seen the Lord do incredible things in the name of Jesus Christ.
Bruce and his wife, Nancy, have been married 39 years and currently live in New Mexico. They have two sons, both happpily married, which has added four grandchildren to their list of blessings from God.
A last comment from Bruce is that Hebrews 13:8 is absolutely true!
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”
The story of Ryan’s life is one of being brought along “from glory to glory” (2 Corinthians 3:18). Ryan was born into a Christian family where his family and he attended church weekly. Here he learned the basics of the faith.
Then, in college, God touched him through a professor in order that he might taste “how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ” (Ephesians 3:18). After spending a year in tears of thankfulness, Ryan attended seminary where God taught him “to obey is better than sacrifice”. (1 Samuel 15:22)
This was also the place he first heard anything concerning the “Baptism of the Holy Spirit”. Following seminary, Ryan took a call to Wisconsin where he very quickly became frustrated with the fact that he had so much schooling and knowledge but seemingly no power to help people change their lives.
He began to ask the question, “Is this all there is to ministry?” God used this question, a group of Spirit-filled pastors, and a man named Bruce Van Natta to eventually lead him to be prayed over by a pastor and his wife to receive a filling of the Holy Spirit.
Two weeks later, Ryan received a seemingly random phone call from a church in New York, and within 6 months, he and his family were serving the Lord on the East Coast where he is now the senior pastor of an active and growing, Spirit-filled church.
Since this move in 2006, the Lord has shown Himself to and through Ryan as being “the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8) through many signs, wonders, and miracles. Ryan’s only desire now is to hear the Lord ever clearer and know the Lord he loves ever deeper.
Ryan, his wife Katherine, and their four children live in Walden, NY.
This is a group of people who are committed to lifting up Sweet Bread Ministries, and the people we minister to, in prayer.
Some of these people have been friends for a long time and some are more recent friends, but the fact remains that we are thankful for each and every prayer offered on our behalf and on the behalf of those we minister to.
James 5:16 says that the prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective and we have seen it!
We believe that the prayers offered up by the “prayer warriors” and the way that God answers those prayers out of His faithfulness, is the jet fuel that powers this ministry.
As the founder of this ministry, I would go so far as to say that the “prayer warriors” are not just highly valued, but are the most valuable asset that this ministry will ever have.
Some of the people on the “prayer warrior” list have agreed to try to pray for this ministry daily and others have said that they will pray as they are led.
I can’t tell you how needed, important, and beneficial those prayers are. The Bible is filled with examples of the power and effectiveness of prayer. I don’t think we will really grasp how much our prayer accomplishes until we get to heaven and God shows us.
As some of you know there were times after my accident when I was at home between hospital stays and I became very ill. More than once I found myself on the bathroom floor in so much pain that I would tell Lori she was going to have take me back to the hospital if God didn’t do something quick.
I would cry out to Him in anguish and He would immediately respond to me with a command. The Holy Spirit would tell me to call other people so that they could pray for me. This was something new to me.
The first few times this happened I have to admit that I became very angry. I knew God was listening to me because He was answering so clearly, but I couldn’t understand why we had to involve a “middle man” to pray for me.
In fact the very first time this happened I refused to be obedient and just kept praying for myself for a long time. The pain became unbearable and I yelled out to God “Why aren’t you helping me?” to which He replied, “I told you what to do!”
I called Lori into the bathroom and told her what the Lord had said and then asked her to start calling some people to pray for me. She did and within a very short time my physical pain subsided.
This cycle repeated itself and each time it did I actually felt further from God. It hurt my feelings to think that He was refusing to answer “My” prayers.
When I finally quit pouting and asked God what was going on, He explained that this process had a few important reasons.
One reason was so that I would quit acting like the “lone Ranger” and therefore would begin to understand the power of other people’s prayers in my life.
Another reason was so that the people who had been asked to pray would have their faith built up when the Lord answered their prayers. We have seen this happen time and again since the start-up of this list and it is actualy very humbling to see how God has used our needs to bring others closer to Him.
I now realize that it was also training for this new ministry. God was showing me that the continued prayer support of other people was essential for this ministry to be effective.
If you have decided that you would like to be a “prayer warrior” for Sweet Bread Ministries, then please send us an e-mail to let us know, and we can add your name to the list.
You will receive periodic prayer requests and just as importantly you will receive “praise” reports when the Lord has answered those prayers.
There have been times when the Lord has spoken to us through various people on this list and it is inspiring to see that when this has happens, God will give the same message to several of you so that we can be sure it was something from Him. I know that this has really encouraged some of you also.
For those of you who have chosen to be a “Sweet Bread Ministries Prayer Warrior”, let me say that we can’t thank you enough. Your prayers are the key that will make this ministry powerful.
Know that as we take this journey together, you are a huge part of this ministry and may the Lord bless you as you have blessed others.