Tribute: Hans Bouwman (3)

Guided by Convictions

The passing of our beloved brother Hans Bouwman was a shock to the assembly here in Abbotsford. Even though the last few years of his life were hampered by the onset of leukemia, our brother continued to work tirelessly for the Lord. Hans set a work standard which some may equal but none will surpass. It was obvious to all who personally knew him that his love for his previous fields of labor never diminished. His frequent trips to Europe and Japan, as well as his publication work, generated much interest abroad and helped in establishing Biblical truths in many assemblies. In spite of his illness, his dedication to the Lord’s work never ceased.

The assembly here in Abbotsford was blessed to have our gentle brother and his dear wife, Gerda, with us since 1996. Hans has been committed to the assembly as much as his health would allow. His help in ministry, gospel, and Bible readings was very much appreciated. Hans held deep personal convictions regarding assembly truths which had an impact on believers both young and old. His integrity was never in question, and he often emphasized the need for deep conviction of a good conscience in Christians, particularly of those in leadership.

Hans’ ability to speak in five different languages gave him the opportunity to engage in conversation with people from different countries. This ability proved most useful, yet he also was sensitive to their cultural backgrounds; this helped in presenting the gospel to the unsaved or ministering to the saints. I personally witnessed people from Asian and European countries taking an instant liking to Hans; truly he had a gift. Han’s deep care for the welfare of people, both saved and unsaved, was one of his defining features.

Hans’ time on earth has come to an end. We look forward to seeing our brother again in glory. Above all else, our brother’s endless love and his warming smile sum up our reflections on his life. The saints in his home assembly and all who had the joy of knowing him will miss these trademarks of this beloved and happy Christian worker.