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In June 2013 over 40 pastors’ spouses met for meetings in Kiev, Ukraine. They spent a day enjoying time together and renewing their commitment to God and ministry.
A special Sabbath parade portrayed the fathers and mothers of early church reformers, such as Martin Luther, William Miller, Zwingli, and the Moravian brothers. The program concluded with the mother of Jan Hus, who in her time on her knees conquered the city of Prague and gave the world a great Christian reformer.
Saturday night featured an all-night prayer session, followed by a prayer breakfast. Participants shared prayer concepts they had learned in their own churches and conferences.
A prayer congress in Minsk, Belarus, included three unforgettable days filled with unity, spiritual enthusiasm, and the power of the Holy Spirit. Participants united in prayer, shared their requests, and saw prayers answered.
Nothern Asia-Pacific Division
In March 2013 Shepherdess leaders of the West Central Korean Conference met at Sahmyook University to continue their work of organizing for mission. The gathering was historic because the pastoral spouses had previously been led by a male conference pastor.
Under the leadership of yu EunJu, conference Shepherdess coordinator, the team developed an excellent governance document. Vice president Lee KiWha led out as they gathered information from Pastor Lynn Ripley, division Shepherdess coordinator. Their goal was to form a network of small-group prayer and fellowship meetings for the pastors’ spouses. They will also publish a newsletter and hold annual retreats for three age groups focused on spiritual and physical renewal. A blog site will share news about birthdays, births, and other helpful information, as well as offering online access to a licensed counselor.
Pastor Lynn Ripley led the group through discipleship principles such as learning to know Jesus every day and mentoring new disciples. Participants shared testimonies about how small groups for pastors’ spouses had blessed them and led to an actual physical healing.
Another highlight of the weekend was a Sunday morning prayer meeting on the prayer mountain. Pastor Lynn encouraged attendees to understand that every voice of witness is important: both young and old, both women and men. The group divided for prayer in seven small buildings that represented the churches of Revelation.
Leaders in Mongolia held a ministerial and Shepherdess retreat at a resort near Ulaanbaatar in April 2013. The theme was “Heaven: Our Ultimate Goal.” Jerry and Janet Page from the General Conference spoke about prayer and its power to move the church forward in mission.
Hearts drew close to the Savior as the pastors and spouses spent time in precious seasons of prayer. David and Lynn Ripley, ministerial and Shepherdess directors for Northern Asia-Pacific, presented devotional messages. Friday evening featured a moving communion service.
Participants were thrilled when Cleidi Kuhn, Shepherdess coordinator for Mongolia, handed out Mongolian-language copies of Derek Morris’ book Radical Protection. Families are still receiving spiritual benefits from the retreat, and Cleidi has started a Tuesday-night Shepherdess prayer group in her home.
South Pacific Division
New Zealand held a ministerial couples retreat. They spent the time together in training seminars, fellowship, and prayer.
Southern-Africa Indian Ocean Division
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NAD Leaders Visit SUD
NAD ministerial spouses leader Donna Jackson visited the Southern Asia Division for year-end meetings in Hosur, India, in November 2012. Local leaders report, “We were very happy to have Donna and her husband back in India after more than 20 years.”
Donna gave presentations on the family, home, listening, and forgiveness. Dr. Rani Rao of Bangalore SDA Medical Center also talked to pastoral spouses about lifestyle and nutrition, and a physiotherapist demonstrated exercises for staying fit.
Southern Asia Division
In September 2012 pastors’ wives and female teachers gathered for a seminar at a Kolkata church. Rose Christo, SUD Shepherdess coordinator, and Milly Lakra, Northern Union Shepherdess coordinator, were the presenters. Attendees were also blessed by the translation skills of Sumitra Sagar, a local Adventist teacher.
Also in September 2012 the Shepherdess and Women’s Ministries departments of Western India Union organized a three-day meeting with the theme of “Fellow Workers in God’s Vineyard.” Rose Christo, Shepherdess coordinator, and Premila Masih, Women’s Ministries director, were the resource persons. The meetings emphasized the pastor’s wife and her family, their relationships, and their church ministry.