Editor's Note: See PDF for pictures
Africa-Indian Ocean Division
Margarida Sarli, fromthe General Conference Ministerial Association, spoke at several workers' meetings in the Africa-Indian Ocean Division during her itinerary there.
Ellen Ur Roque, Shepherdess Coordinator for the Central Luzon Conference, reports that the pastors' wives there have been busy conducting marriage enrichment seminars and vegetarian cooking schools in their local districts. In September, they held their second continuing education event on the topic of clergy family relationships. Their Shepherdess membership has now climbed to almost 120.
Naomi Hendriks, Shepherdess Coordinator for the West Indonesia Union Mission, reports on evangelistic activities conducted by pastors' wives.
(Editor's Note: See PDF for pictures)
Administrative wives from all over the world attended the Administrative and Delegate Spouses' Meetings held in San Jose, Costa Rica, during the Annual Council session. Seminar speakers included Karen Flowers, from the Family Life Department at the General Conference; Evelyn Omana, Inter-American Division SIEMA (Shepherdess) Coordinator; and Mary Maxson, from the Adventist Review. Rae Lee Cooper, from the General Conference Ministerial Association, presented a health and exercise feature each day.
North American Division
Frances McClure, Division Shepherdess Coordinator, hosted three days of seminars and fellowship for the North American Division administrators' wives during the year-end meeting held in Washington, DC. Guest speakers included Dr. Rheeta M. Stecker from Arkansas and Dorothy Watts, well-known author and speaker from the General Conference.
The Iowa-Missouri Conference ministry wives attended a Shepherdess retreat in August. Dennis Barts was the guest speaker for two sessions entitled "Exercise and Physical Fitness" and "Investment Planning."
South American Division
Bolivia Union Mission, which is one of the newest unions in the division, held their first continuing education meeting for AFAM (Shepherdess). The four-day event consisted of ten classes. They received their first gifts of recognition for being pastors' wives from Vasti Viana, the Division's AFAM Coordinator.
The South Lima Mission hosted a one-day meeting for all the pastors and wives. Alicia Arn, the AFAM Coordinator of the Peru Union, presented a seminar on devotional life. Vasti Viana, from the Division, gave a seminar on being apart of the church's mission.
The East Peru Mission held a convocation for all of the pastors' wives in Tarapoto, a jungle town. The mission had to send all of the pastors' wives by airplane because it is dangerous to travel through the jungle by car or bus. Alicia Am and Vasti Viana officiated at the meeting.
Two meetings were held for the theology students' spouses: in Peru, at the Inca Union University and at the Theological Seminary in IAENE in Brazil. Both meetings included seminars on the importance of continuing education.
Austral Union Conference, South Brazil Union Conference, and Central Brazil Union Conference all held meetings with their Shepherdess leaders to plan for 1997.
Pastors' wives from Uruguay met in Montevideo for a one-day meeting and luncheon.
Southern Asia Division
Mrs.Julia James who teaches the Bible Workers Course for the pastors' wives gives us the following report:
Along with my husband, I have the privilege of training the pastors' wives in the Southern Asia Division who are not employed by the organization. The Southern Asia Division made a plan to train the pastors' wives to be Bible women, so that they could work along with their husbands to witness for the Master.
Thus far we have trained 277 pastors' wives to be Bible women and granted them stipends. The pastors' wives studied Bible Doctrines; Personal Evangelism; Adventist Lifestyle; Role of the Pastor's Wife in the Home, in the Church, and Among the People. After examinations on both knowledge and performance, they were graduated and received certificates to be Bible women.
After the graduations, they all were hired to witness for the Lord.
I want to relate to you the experience of one pastor's wife. Girupai John Mayavelu is from the North Tamil Conference. She took her notes and filled with hope that God would lead her, she stood in front of a Pentecostal congregation, mostly women, and preached about the Sabbath truth. Do you know what happened? With the help of the Holy Spirit, 36 people believed the Sabbath truth and were baptized in the name of Jesus into the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
My dear friends and shepherdesses, when we submit ourselves into the hands of the Almighty and say, "Lord, here I am available but not able to do Your work. Take me and accept my humbleness and do wonders to save people who are in darkness," God will bless our work with miracles. Praise God for Sister Girupai's services.
A "shepherdess" is a very special person. She works along with her pastor-husband and joins with church members in visiting the sick and praying for them. God intends for ministry to be a privilege and pleasure, not a curse or burden we have to bear.
When we are willing to do God's work, He will use us for His glory. It is a noble work to witness for the Master. Please remember our precious Bible women from the Southern Asia Division in your prayers.