NORTH AMERICAN DIVISION
Shepherdesses from around the world gathered at the General Conference for year-end meetings last fall. Audrey Weir-Graham was the featured speaker. During the first session, Audrey spoke on “Making Jesus Your Real Friend.” The second session focused on prayer, where Audrey outlined twelve 5-minute “points of focus” encouraging women to spend an hour in prayer.
Rae Lee Cooper led out in an exercise segment each day and handed out pedometers, encouraging everyone to start a walking program. She also gave a brief talk and handout on women’s health and the H1N1 virus.
May-Ellen Colon spoke about the Sabbath, giving principles on Sabbath observance and sharing how the Jews welcome the Sabbath each week. Joanne Stango gave a presentation on creating memory albums. All Shepherdesses in attendance were given mini photo albums to scrapbook, using pictures they had brought.
The late Jim Cress, Ministerial Director of the General Conference, was always a great encourager of pastors’ wives and took time to share words of encouragement with them during the meetings.
On the final day of the meetings, the women were treated to a shopping trip to Hagerstown and Rockville, where they enjoyed going to the many outlet stores and fellowshipping together.
SOUTHERN ASIA-PACIFIC DIVISION
SHEPHERDESS EVANGELISM PROGRAM IN EAST BANGLADESH FIELD (EBF)
They came across muddy fields and hills, zigzagging their way to the special Shepherdess evangelistic meetings held at the Bangalhalia Adventist Church in East Bangladesh. Looking forward to Friday evening and the full day of special meetings, pastor’s wives, along with many other women and men, eagerly filled the church.
Friday-evening vespers was organized by area Shepherdesses, who also learned how to lead a song service and conduct other parts of the program.
Sabbath was a full day with the divine worship service, a child dedication, the Lord’s Supper, and a baptism that began just after breakfast—with 62 precious souls being baptized by two local pastors.
“Most of the church members are converts from Buddhism,” writes Lucena Chambugong, Shepherdess Coordinator for the EBF. “All of them are so glad to receive the light of truth, and they have promised to share the gospel with others.” Many of the newly baptized members had never experienced the Lord’s Supper, so the service was very special for them.
In the afternoon, a special seminar was presented for the EBF officers, district pastors and wives, school teachers and spouses, as well as lay members. A total of 778 participated in the seminar.
“There are still many places in our mission where people live like beasts in the jungle and hills where they have not received even a touch of civilization,” writes Lucena. “Please pray for us so that we may reach them, and pray for our church members that they may share the good news in their area. The area is so hilly and people live far apart from one another, so communication is difficult.”
PASTOR’S WIFE WRITES AUTOBIOGRAPHY
Visnja Kalcic-Kovacevic, from Zagreb, Croatia, has published a 320-page autobiography, Life of a Pastor’s Wife, detailing her experiences of being a Shepherdess in Croatia. The book contains 280 photos, mostly in color. It is the first book of its kind to be written in Croatian.
In her book, Visnja traces her many journeys as a pastor’s wife and introduces the reader to her family and to the many people she has encountered along the way. Many pastoral wives will be able to relate to Visnja’s descriptions of youth group activities, evangelistic meetings and baptisms, ordinations, child dedications, and funerals.
Life of a Pastor’s Wife is also kind of a “personal confessional,” according to Visnja, as she writes about what brings happiness to a pastoral family, as well as what discourages it. She confesses that, like other pastors’ wives, she knows what it means to serve in many different capacities such as “building manager, cleaner, laundress, hostess, teacher of cooking classes, humanitarian worker, nurse, Sabbath School teacher, organist and choir director,” and many more.
While her book contains a collection of select details from her own life, Visnja candidly shares many difficult situations where the reader may learn from her experiences.
In the end, Visnja states than even though the pastoral life is not easy and not without worries, she has decided to “stay until the end with my husband and work for the Lord—there is no money that could replace it.”
She invites readers not to be discouraged when they encounter problems and difficulties. “Do not neglect working for the Lord,” she writes, “since in that work there is ultimate fulfillment and blessings from above.”
Life of a Pastor’s Wife can be ordered directly from the author by writing her at: vlatko. [email protected].