Asia Pacific Division
Grace Sang Kyu-Choo and her husband, Barnabas, just can't retire. Grace served the Seventh-day Adventist Church for over 40 years as a director of child evangelism, pianist, and conductor of church choirs. Now, in their retirement, the Kyu-Choos are returning to Asia to devote their first year of retirement to the Lord in the 1,000 Missionary Movement.
North American Division
* The Central California Conference held their annual Pastors' Wives Retreat in Soquel. The fellowship and seminars were like a fountain in a dry desert. As wives of busy pastors and mothers, the women enjoyed this special time together. In order to keep in touch with each other, they voted to elect Area Shepherdess Coordinators. Their quarterly newsletter is called Perspectives and includes prayer lists and items of interest to the local area.
* The Dakota Conference Shepherdess group planned several special events for their winter Pastors' Retreat. While the husbands took care of the children, the ladies participated in a "slumber party." The women went to the house of the local pastor's wife where they enjoyed a delicious, leisurely supper free from phone calls or children needing attention. After supper they all changed into warm pajamas and robes for the most "unique pajama" award. Elsie-Rae Davis won with pajamas and slippers with cow motif front and back. Each lady shared how they met and married their husbands, and a sweet, loving spirit grew as thoughts went back to the beginning of married life. Then a bedtime story was read and everyone found a place to sleep on beds, couches, and sleeping bags. One retired pastor's wife remarked, "I enjoyed the party so much. I wish there had been times for special sharing when I was younger."
Later in the week, the group prepared a very unique Communion supper. The tables were arranged in a large rectangle with a large cross at one end. The very special meal included fruit, bread, spreads, and nut breads. The table center piece had a heart-shaped base with a cross wheat weaving, unique to the Dakotas; it also included a candle, grapes, rose of Sharon, and lilies to complete the symbolism of Christ. Each family took home the special table decoration. Twelve of our pastors took the part of the disciples and discussed among themselves the meaning of the supper with the Lord. Everyone enjoyed this very much as it brought a lot of realism to the service.
General Conference. Administrative wives gathered in the Visitor's Theater for three days of seminars and fellowship during the Annual Council Session. Franci McClure, Shepherdess Coordinator for the North American Division, led a "get-acquainted session" the first day. Dorothy Watts, from the British Columbia Conference, spoke practically and inspirationally on the special challenges of being the wife of an administrator. Focusing on coping with criticism, expectations and loneliness, Dorothy truly ministered to each one of us. Another seminar session, devoted to "case studies," opened a lively, real, and humorous discussion on things that have actually occurred in the lives of administrative wives.
* Minnesota Conference. For several years the pastors' wives in the Minnesota Conference have worked together at camp meeting time to raise funds to buy gifts for their Sisters in different parts of the world. A small booth was built for them to use to make and sell sandwiches. Twice a day, the women take turns helping, with two or three women working each shift. In addition to volunteering their time, many of the women bake desserts and donate them to sell along with the sandwiches.
The project first began as a means to raise the postage needed to send clothing and other items to pastors' wives overseas. More recently they have used their funds to purchase items to be taken to places where Minnesota pastors and their wives hold evangelistic meetings. For example, Joyce Milliken has taken gifts to the shepherdesses in Bulgaria and Romania; Erma Larson, to Moldova; and Barbara Huff, to the Ukraine.
"I can't believe that these women are so joyful about adding another chore to their busy days at camp meeting," says Shepherdess sponsor, Barbara Huff. "They love to work together on a project, and they receive satisfaction from brightening an unknown sister's life." Gifts given have included pantyhose, scissors, lotion, nail clippers, book marks, etc.
* Upper Columbia Conference held their annual Pastors' Wives Retreat. at MiVoden. Helpmate officers report that the warmth of fellowship, honesty, and openness of the speakers made the time special. The pastoral wives appreciated having a time just for them to share their special challenges and blessings, and they thanked the conference and their own Helpmate leadership for making this possible.
Southern Asia Division
Valsala Stanly, Shepherdess Coordinator for the North Kerala Section, reports that all of the pastoral wives in this Section are engaged in evangelism. Last year the Division conducted a special Bible Institute for the unemployed pastors' wives, which equipped them for specific church activities. The Section is seeing the results of this valuable training. As always, the investment of funds for training and nurturing pastoral wives is a wise choice!