January 13, 2003, Mom Bovenkamp went to her heavenly home after a short illness. Mom was a tremendous support to this ministry. She was a prayer warrior we could always count on. Mom not only prayed for the many children she and Dad sponsored, but she also prayed faithfully for the many other needs in Haiti. Mom’s prayer support will surely be missed.
Sheryl and I left for Haiti along with a small team on January 8. That afternoon I visited with Mom and told her it was difficult to leave with her sick and on her way to the hospital. Her reply was that we needed to go – God had things for us to do in Haiti and that’s where Mom wanted us to be. She then said, “I’m so proud of you and the work God has given you to do in Haiti.” I thought about that a little and replied, “Mom, much of the credit goes to you. During my younger years, some being years of rebellion, you were always there praying for me and God used those prayers mightily in my life. You Mom are much of the reason we are doing what we do today.” I’m so thankful for a praying mom, who so faithfully fulfilled that important ministry. The results of that is evident in our lives and in the ministry that God has called us to.
Mom never made the trip to Haiti. She never had the opportunity to hold her little orphan children. But oh how she loved them and knew them from a distance as she prayed over them and cared for them financially. Almost every trip we made, Mom would send along a small package for her kids and always tell me to give each one a big hug from her and tell them that she loved them. Mom had such a big heart and the capacity to love so many.
I like to imagine that reunion day when Emiline, Nehemie, Denise, Mikerlange and Eniel and so many more meet Mom face to face. I can see them smothering her with hugs and kisses and a huge thank-you for all she did for them. For giving each of these precious orphans the opportunity for a better future. For providing for their meals, clothing, housing and education. But most of all for providing the opportunity for them to meet Jesus. Oh what a day that will be!!
A few years ago Mom shared this quote with one of us. “To be holy doesn’t mean to do extraordinary things, to understand big things, but it is a simple acceptance, because I have given myself to God, because I belong to Him – my total surrender. He could put me here – He could put me there – He could use me – He could not use me. It doesn’t matter because I belong so totally to Him that He can do just what He wants to with me.”
Mom lived her life that way — not interested in doing extraordinary things. But living totally surrendered to her Master. The result of that was extraordinary service to her family and so many more. I thank God for giving me Mom — an example of faithful Christian living.
Our Haiti trip was cut short. Sheryl and I left the team in the capable hands of Glenn and hurried home on the day of Mom’s passing. God so faithfully prepared the way for us that day as well. We had been told that there were no seats available out of Haiti until Thursday and we were at the airport early Monday morning. We weren’t looking forward to sitting in the Port-au-Prince airport for three days waiting for a flight. We prayed, left it in His hands and our miracle working, first-class God provided first-class seats on the first flight out that morning.
Thank you for allowing us the opportunity to share a little about Mom. She’ll be missed but we are so thankful that we know where she is and that we will soon see her again. Until then — we’ll keep on serving in Haiti and at home as God leads. Thank you for being part of this ministry.
In memory of Mom,
Bernie & Sheryl Bovenkamp