Members of Ancaster (Ontario) Christian Reformed Church are surrounding Sharlene Bosma with support as the trial begins today for the men accused of murdering her husband, Tim Bosma.
Tim Bosma, 32, was abducted on May 6, 2013, after leaving home with two men who came to test drive a truck he was trying to sell. The search for Bosma made headlines across Canada and galvanized church communities across Canada and around the world to pray for his safe return. A little more than a week later, police announced they had found his body. “Yesterday was the most horrifying day of my life,” Sharlene said to the media at the time. “I am broken. Part of me is gone.”
Sharlene and her young daughter attend Ancaster CRC. Her church family will be taking turns sitting with Bosma throughout the trial. The trial is expected to last about four months. Tim’s parents Hank and Mary also attend the church.
Krista Dam-VandeKuyt is one of the church members directly involved in that effort, along with several young couples. “We are a group of friends that grew out of the Ancaster CRC youth group 18 years ago,” she said. The same group ramped up a massive search and a social media campaign the day after Tim went missing.
They plan to attend the opening day of the trial as a group and then take turns going on assigned days to provide support. They will gather each Sunday for lunch to talk and be together. Friends of Hank and Mary have also attended the court proceedings and will continue to do so.
VandeKuyt said that there was a prayer service on the Thursday before jury selection began to commit the trial to God. Hank prayed prayed for the judge, jury, and lawyers, and Sharlene thanked the congregation for their support.
“There will be a Scripture verse posted on the church’s website each day of the trial, and people are stopping wherever they are to pray at 10 a.m.,” VandeKuyt said.
Rev. Rita Klein-Geltink arrived to start her ministry in Ancaster CRC at the same time Bosma was killed. Her first family visit in Ancaster was with the Bosmas as they learned of Tim’s death. “The Bosma tragedy has, in many ways, defined my ministry at Ancaster CRC,” she said. In her first year there were three more tragic deaths in the church family. “The past two years have given this church time to heal, but as the trial approaches, we discover anew that the power of sin and evil is very real.”
As she meets with members and as she preaches, she said, the church is reminded that forgiveness and justice are more than theological concepts. “These are truths that we can never fully grasp without the miracle of God's intervention,” she said. “Until then, our prayers are for peace and courage, and for strength for each day. The rest will come in God’s time.”