Editor's Note: See the PDF for the accompanying pictures (p. 30):
Together we are different
At our recent retreat for ministry spouses, we didn't get around to playing games, but we didn’t miss it. We sang, prayed, talked, ate together, and explored our personality profiles on the basis of the DISC Personality Test, led by Elisabeth and Hubert Kazmierczak, Shepherdess coordinator and ministerial secretary from the Austrian Union.
First we discovered qualities of God’s personality, such as thoughtfulness, friendliness, generosity, patience, consistency, gentleness, and His unconditional, boundless love for everyone.
Then we discussed the personalities of several biblical characters. Next, we explored our own personalities.
When someone gets to know and understand themselves better, they can then deal more sympathetically with the idiosyncrasies of others. Ideally, we can therefore deal better with different situations in life, work, and church.
Northern Asia-Pacific Division
In April 2014, East Central Korean Conference met to establish a pastors’ spouses choir. In May, conference spouses enjoyed a series of classes at Eden Hospital on the subject of renewed spiritual and physical health.
Twenty-five pastoral spouses attended a pilot training program in June 2014. The focus was on mental well-being, having a positive outlook, and choosing a life vision for Christ that focuses each person beyond their difficulties. They met once a week for fifteen classes.
Following is a pictorial report from meetings in Northern Asia-Pacific Division. The pastors’ spouses are active in ministry.
Southern Africa-Indian Ocean Division
Mrs. Sylvia Muvuti, Mozambique Union Mission Shepherdess coordinator, offers English classes for ministry spouses and staff members. Sometimes knowing only one language is a barrier for pastors’ spouses. This class enables them to follow events in the church around the world.
In Zambia, ministry spouses received training in the Copperbelt and Lusaka conferences. They heard presentations on health, learned how to pray and study the Bible, and discussed ways to have a meaningful team ministry.
Pastors’ wives in Zambia are teaming up with their husbands to lead activities for Mission to the Cities, including prayer committees, Bible studies, and preaching.
Southern Asia-Pacific Division
In August 2013, pastors’ and elders’ wives from Sri Lanka met at Lakpahana Adventist School. The theme involved happy marriages, nurture and discipleship, proper use of church finances, and how to become a better pastor’s wife.
Shepherdesses attend the 2014 SSD Ministerial Convention
Teresa Costella reports that more than one thousand attended the 2014 Southern Asia-Pacific ministerial convention in Bangkok, Thailand. Coming from 12 of SSD’s 14 countries, Shepherdesses were thrilled to be part of the first ministerial convention since SSD was established in 1997. This event marks the first time 83 pastors’ wives from Myanmar had ever gathered with Shepherdesses outside their country, and for many, it was the first time they had ever traveled internationally. The opportunity to meet and worship with their fellow sisters in the work seemed like a little glimpse of heaven with its unimaginable tapestry of nations, personalities, and stories. Shepherdess International, the world church ministry to pastoral spouses, hosted a special track of seminars with an emphasis on the challenges and unique issues these spouses face.
South Pacific Division
In late April 2013, about two hundred Partners in Ministry (PIM) and Pastors’ Kids (PKs) from Fiji Mission gathered at the Deuba Mission Campsite for a retreat. The PIMs were challenged to refocus on the importance of their role in ministry and to revive their relationships with Jesus, husband, family, and church. The PKs enjoyed creative activities and swimming in the crystal water of Deuba. It was a memorable occasion, as PIMs and PKs are often left out of the schedule. It had been a decade since they last had a meeting of this kind, and now the PKs want it to be an annual event.