Eastern Africa Division
* The Uganda Union elected its first woman as a departmental director. Ruth Kakaire replaces Hudson Kibuuka as director for the departments of education and communication. She holds a Master of Teaching Ministry, earned in the Philippines. Mrs. Kakaire is a pastoral wife, married to Dr. Bonface Kakaire, the Union's publishing director and chaplain. They have four children.
* Sharon Cress, GC Shepherdess International Coordinator, spent ten days in Moscow training the new Shepherdess leaders for the Euro-Asia Division and beginning the coordination of the organization of Shepherdess in this newest Division. A highlight of the event was a panel discussion on pastoral families answering questions submitted by the audience. The panel participants included Gaspar Colon, Jim Cress, Ron Flowers, Heikke Silvet, Nancy Wilson, and Sharon Cress. Conference leaders requested a repeat of and more time dedicated to a panel presentation at the year-end meetings scheduled for next year.
Far Eastern Division
* North Philippine Union pastoral wives met in three locations for Shepherdess meetings under the direction of North Philippine Union Shepherdess coordinator, Mellie Villoso, and Sharon Cress, GC Shepherdess International Coordinator. Presentations were on "Team Ministry," "Soul Winning and the Pastoral Wife," and "Pastoral Wife Expectations." The women participated in question and ansv, er sessions and gave input for the upcoming Division Ministerial Councils.
* Under the direction of Mellie Villoso and Women's Ministry, 220 shepherdesses (ministers' wives) of the North Philippine Union Mission, launched a joint-community program on livelihood resulting in the baptism of 58 and reclaiming 12 former Adventists.
The program's aim, to augment family income, started with soap, candle and catsup making. The team introduced techniques in the production of tofu, soy sauce, soy milk and other soy products. As the program gained more participants, additional projects were introduced such as dressmaking, hair science, cosmetology, and handicrafts. Special products of the livelihood program are sold and the proceeds used to purchase evangelistic equipment for the evangelistic meetings the ladies conduct. They also conduct small group Bible studies using the Voice of Prophecy lessons. The devotional time includes sharing of Christian eiperiences and interests for the gospel are growing fast.
* Southeast Asia Union Mission pastoral wives and their husbands met in Singapore for two days of continuing education. Ken Wade, union ministerial secretary and his wife, Debbie; and Jim Cress, secretary of General Conference Ministerial Association and his wife, Sharon, GC Shepherdess International Coordinator, led out in the meetings. The topics? "Reclaiming New Members," "Soul Winning for the Pastoral Couple," and "Marriage Expectations."
* Thailand Mission pastoral wives from the Northern Region joined their husbands in Chiang Mai for five days of ministers' meetings and continuing education. The meetings were directed by Steve Bassham, Thailand Mission president, and Nancy Bassham, Far Eastern Division Shepherdess coordinator. Jim Cress, secretary of General Conference Ministerial Association, spoke to the pastoral wives on "Leading a Person to Christ" and "Decision Making." Sharon Cress, GC Shepherdess International Coordinator, gave workshops on "Team Ministry," "Marital Support in the Pastoral Family," "Soul Winning for the Pastoral Wife," and "Children's Ministries."
* Venezuela-Antilles Union Mission, sponsored the first-ever Union wide Pastoral Pastoral Wives of the Central Venezula Spouse-Workers' Meetings specifically for pastoral and administrative spouses. Evelyn Omana, Union Shepherdess Coordinator, directed these meeting. For five days, wives of the union ministerial staff were treated to seminars, fellowship, and continuing education. Their pastor-administrator husbands stayed home and took care of the children while these women attended meetings enriching themselves spiritually, mentally, and physically.
Highlights included seminars by Jaime Castrejon, Inter-American Division Ministerial Secretary, who spoke on the "Team Work of Aquila and Priscilla." On Friday night, Ivan Omana, Union President, expressed appreciation to the pastoral wives and challenged them in their work. For Sabbath School and the worship service, the women presented the program. Sharon Cress, GC Shepherdess International Coordinator, gave seminars on "Soul Winning for the Pastoral Wife," "Expectations in the Parsonage," and "Dealing
North American Division
* The Seventh-day Adventist Church in Sarasota, Florida, under the direction of retired pastor, Charles Cress, gathered donations of over 500 pairs of brand-new pantyhose which were taken to the pastoral wives in the EuroAsia Division. They will be distributed throughout the division.
* The Montana Conference Shepherdess club and Mt. Ellis Academy are sponsoring "Prayer Friends." They pray for and are a friend to a student or faculty family at Mt. Ellis Academy for one school year. Involvement may also include writing, calling, or sending a care package.
* "Prayer Friends" has been in progress for three years by theUpper Columbia Conference pastoral wives. Reports say that "the students, faculty and parents have expressed deep appreciation for (this) personal touch and thanks to theLord's blessing . there has been an experienced marked growth spiritually, academically, numerically, and financially."
Southern Asia Division
Over 150 women attended three days of meetings for pastoral and administrative wives during Annual Council in Bangalore, India. The meetings were directed by Margaret Nathaniel, the Division Shepherdess Coordinator, and Sharon Cress, GC Shepherdess International Coordinator.
Roselyne Raelly, Eastern Africa Division Shepherdess Coordinator, gave the main seminar for the meetings entitled, "Role of the Shepherdess in Ancient Times" and "Role of the Shepherdess in the 20th Century." She presented valuable comparisons that the blessings, expectations, and challenges are much the same even though many generations have passed.
Devotionals were presented by Margaret Nathaniel and Hazel Gordon. Margaret Nathaniel's topic was "Waiting for the Lord." Hazel Gordon, from the North American Division, shared her personal story about how the Lord has led in her life.
Rae Lee Cooper, from the Southern Asia Division, led the women in stretching exercises each day during the fellowship breaks; everyone enjoyed the refreshing experience.
Rose Otis, GC Women's Ministries Director, presented a slide report on what lay women in the church are doing around the world.
The highlight of the meetings occurred Friday morning when the women took part in the Communion Service. Special bonds of sisterhood were formed and strengthened as committed pastoral and administrative wives washed each others' feet and shared the bread and wine of Jesus' broken body and shed blood for them. Birol Christo, from the Southern Asia Division, presented the Communion Service sermon on heart preparation. As these special women parted, after the final service, it was evident that the cords binding pastoral and administrative wives were tightly woven.
Small appreciation gift packets were given to these committed women by several entities of the church organization including the GC Ministerial Association.