Offbeat: Church Mural

February 6, 2005--Posted at 10:30 p.m. CST

WYNNE, AR--She's the Michelangelo of Wynne, AR and she's painting her "children's" version of the Cistene Chapel in Rome.  Wendy Bohonek has spent the last 9 months painting a Biblical mural on the hall walls of Wynne Baptist Church.

"I want this section to be an invitation to children to come and learn about Jesus," said Bohonek.  That invitation is a result of her wish to redecorate the children's department with a mural based on a timeline of the bible. She suggested the mural and now she's painting the Old Testament on one side of the hall and the New Testament on the other side.

"I never ever dreamed I'd be doing this," said Bohonek.  "It's not been a lifelong dream. I'm doing this because I did a lot of talking."  As a result of that, this mother of two has been doing a lot of painting.  She's at it, at least 3 or 4 days a week, 6 hours a day, and she's on her third set of brushes since she began this masterpiece last May. "And I thought Id be done by the end of the summer."

With no formal painting experience, Wendy traces scenes from coloring books and uses transparencies to pencil them onto the wall, then applies the color. "If you can paint by numbers you can do this," claims Bohonek. "A lot of heart, that's all it takes. You don't have to be knowledgeable in any other way, I'm not."

Bohonek says this Biblical timeline is also a spiritual journey for her. "I didn't think of how it would touch me personaly. I think the person being blessed the most by this is me. It's given me a more personal understanding of God.  "In a world today that's hurting, how can you have no hope? And I have that hope."

It's a hope that drives her brush, a hope that drives Wendy Bohonek's labor of love for God. "My goal is to make God's word exciting and real," siad Bohonek. "It's got a lot to minister to them and a lot they can learn from it, and I want them to dig in there."