Joys and Trials

Life as a pastor's wife and mother living in Kenya has proven to be both challenging and uplifting.

Agnes Nzioka is a pastoral wife in the Central Kenya Conference.

Life as a pastor's wife and mother living in Kenya has proven to be both challenging and uplifting. The challenges that sometimes face my family can often be over­whelming but the knowledge that we are doing God's will fills us with joy and peace.

Five years ago my husband and I began our ministry in Africa. Pastoring in Kenya has presented some hardships and we have encountered many disturbances in our lives. Still God has blessed us and we trust in the Lord. My daily prayer is, "Thank you, Lord, for calling my husband and me to work for You You always make him prosper through your power."

Communication is difficult for the pastors in the Central Kenya Conference. Pastors oversee several churches and the distance between the congregations are often 50 km to 90 km. The pastor is expected to cycle or walk to meet the church members, conduct church board and business meetings and tend to the various needs of the church members. Being away from his family greatly impacts the pastor and his wife and children.

During the long times when my husband is away, I have no one to share my problems with. I often feel so alone, and I eagerly await his return. Perhaps if we could have something like pikpik, the work would be easier and ministers' wives would not feel so stressed when their husbands are away.

Being away from home for extended periods of times also has a negative effect on pastors. Many of our pastors die young, and it has been suggested that the travel and unavailability of family, in particular a comforting wife, has hastened the deaths of many of these men. The distance to the church meetings arc often so far that a pastor must stay away from home three or four days at a time.

The people of this area say everything that comes to mind; if they are unhappy, they write accusing letters, speak in abusive language and even do abusive deeds. When we begin to feel overwhelmed by the actions or words of others, my husband and I get down on our knees and talk to God about our concerns. We are comforted by the knowledge that God is preparing a heavenly award for us and when my husband gets to heaven he will forget the tiredness that never seems to leave him.

There are many off-shoot movements in and around our community. Many times we have prayed, "Lord, if You called us, surely meeting these off-shoots is part of the call. We praise You for giving us strength and words from Your Bible to talk to them." Progress is being made in this area. God has shown us how to do His work; many members of the off-shoot movements have been baptized and are now attending our churches.

Though we are young in the ministry, the Lord is holding our hands firm in His. We are still ministering in these tough, remote areas. We really need your prayers.

Let us imagine the journey of Jesus from heaven down here as we serve as pastoral wives and pastors. Let us have courage to bring more to Him, even as we face hardships.

May God bless all of us as we work for our Lord in His vine­yard.

Please keep my husband, Pastor Nzioka, and our daughter, Jammimal Mueni, and me in your prayers.