Editor's Note: See PDF for accompanying pictures.
East-Central Africa Division
The following is a pictorial report from meetings recently held for the Shepherdess Coordinators and Women Ministry Leaders in ECD.
North American Division
Andrews University: In February 2007, Marti Schneider led out in meetings with the seminary wives at Andrews University. Sharon Cress attended to honor Cynthia Burrill for her dedicated work with theology spouses.
Northern New England Conference: In February 2007 pastors’ wives gathered for a weekend retreat. The ladies arrived weary on Friday afternoon and left refreshed and inspired on Sunday afternoon. Lyn Ortel reports that they are proud of these ladies and grateful for them. Following are pictures from this event.
South Pacific Division
Morobe Mission: Partners in Ministry (PIM) coordinator Mrs. Esther Hamura reports that they had 16 members in 2004. They have been helping to replace materials with modern techonology so that cooking will be more convenient for mothers who live in remote areas.
In April 2006, a pastor’s wife conducted a one-week meeting in Ramu, which resulted in 12 baptisms.
Sepik Mission: Mrs. Elizabeth Nara was the Shepherdess Coordinator for 2004 and 2005. In 2005, she led the PIMs in preparing a proposal for the Community Development Scheme office to request funding to build a leadership training house. The center will be used to train ladies in areas of cooking, literacy skills, sewing, handicrafts, parenting, counseling, and other areas so they can return to their communities and share their knowledge with other women.
The PIMs also worked with Women’s Ministries to get uniforms for congress at Pacific Adventist University.
The Kanauki District has seven members, and they have held two meetings where they spent time encouraging each other as they support their husbands in ministry.
Mrs. Lucy Moke became the PIM coordinator in 2006. She continued to work with the Community Development Scheme so construction could begin. A carpenter flew in to begin the work, and a groundbreaking ceremony was held.
Eastern Highlands Simbu Mission: Mrs. Yorio was the PIM Coordinator in 2004 and 2005. In April 2004 their group met at the Kama Primary School and held meetings that were enriching and practical. Seventy ladies came together August 28–September 5 for a “spiritual enrichment program.” They had more practical training and helped develop each other’s spiritual gifts and talents so they can better support their husbands and families in ministry. For some, this is the only training they will receive.
In April 2005, the worker’s meeting was reported to be the best one yet. Mrs. Kola presented spiritual programs on Bible studies and the art of preaching. The ladies also learned to make peanut butter, axion, biscuits, pakipaki, and tapiok flour.
Mrs. Effrey Lohia became the PIM Coordinator in 2006. Their first meeting and training was held in Goroka in August 2006. Their next program was at the Kabiufa SDA Village Church; wives of officers and departmental directors were the facilitators.
Bougainville Mission: In June 2006, Mrs. Davai conducted worker’s meetings with her husband. They shared recipes and ways to prepare local food more nutritiously. Sister Nancy taught flower arranging; Sister Ruphina conducted workshops on health, child care, and helping pregnant mothers prepare for delivery. Mrs. Rikis led the group in prayer ministry, and attendees encouraged each other through Bible study.
North East Papua Mission: Mrs. June Oli was the PIM Coordinator in 2005. They held a meeting in Ramaga during the Mission Workers’ meetings. Everyone participated in a nutrition class.
In 2006 Mrs. Dorcas Yorio became the coordinator. At the headquarters, there are only three families. When mission programs take place, Mary Soga, Waili Kwalu, and Dorcas Yorio work together. They, along with Mrs. M. Beso, teacher and wife of the headmaster at Inonda School, have supported mission sessions, workers’ meetings, HIV/AIDS training, and Start Your Own Business training programs missionwide. Some of the ladies took part in the training to help support their husbands in a team effort.
South West Papua Mission: Mrs. Grace Elodo leads the PIMs in this mission. It is very difficult for them to all meet together, but they have planned programs for ladies at the mission on the third Thursday of each month. They encourage and pray for each other, and they sew together.
In April 2004, they held a retreat for families at Kinomere Church east of Kikori. A dugout canoe and dinghy with a 40-horsepower engine took the PIMs, husbands, and children to their destination. They spent a wonderful weekend with church members. Ninety percent of the church members are women and five percent are men. All the weekend programs were led by PIMs, as was a cooking demonstration. This is the first time that all the officers, departmental directors, and PIMs visited with this group. They were blessed!
New Britain New Ireland Mission: Mrs. Davai, along with her husband, attended a workers’ meeting for this mission. There was good attendance, and this was the first opportunity for some to participate since they work in very isolated areas. Sometimes the spouses feel they are not part of the ministry, so workshops were targeted to be useful to partners in gospel ministry. There were also practical workshops such as baking, and how to make gluten, and participants were given other simple recipes. The ladies also made crafts to use in their kitchens.
North East Papua Mission: Mary Soga and Waili Kwalu conducted an outreach program for neighboring non-Adventist villages in January 2006. They had 45-50 people attending regularly. The ladies had worship with the participants and did cooking and sewing demonstrations. Those who attended commented that this was just the type of program they needed.
Western Highlands Mission: Susan Yehisembi shares how she sold food every Sunday at the market to help provide for her family while her husband attended Pacific Adventist University. Her sales were always the highest. This continued until her husband graduated and became General Secretary for Morobe Mission in 2003. The Lord blessed.
Australian Union: In February 2007 Merilyn Webster and Sharon Cress led the Shepherdess Advisory. Following is a pictoral report from those meetings.
Southern Africa-Indian Ocean Africa Division
Pretoria: A Shepherdess Advisory was held near the new division office. Denise Ratsara, Shepherdess Coordinator, planned this event, and Sharon Cress was one of the speakers.
Malawi Union: Gertrude Mfune, Shepherdess Coordinator for Malawi Union, shares the following pictorial report.
Zambia Union: Avinat Chitebeta is the Shepherdess Coordinator and Patience Matandiko is the sponsor. At the Mongu Retreat, the ladies met in the village of Mandanga. They held a Shepherdess meeting in Mandanga. At the Monze Retreat, more than 150 elders’ wives joined the Shepherdesses, as well as retired Shepherdesses. The topics at both retreats covered family worship, child guidance, leadership, home management, and counseling. A Shepherdess Convention was held June 30–July 3, 2006. Sister Patricia Samu from Zimbabwe was the guest speaker.
The ladies have also been active in community service by helping out at a senior citizens’ home and with prison ministries.
Zimbabwe Union: The Shepherdesses in this Union have been focusing on five initiatives—Epaphras Ministry, Zechariah Project, Hezekiah Operation, Haggai Venture, and Paul’s Method. The Epaphras Ministry is a prayer ministry. They believe that prayer is their strength. In Paul’s Method, Shepherdesses share ideas on how to live up to the Word of God. They hold seminars in children’s ministries, cooking, health, child-rearing, how to relate to the in-laws, care for infected children, and working with AIDS patients. The Zechariah Project is evangelism. The West Zimbabwe Conference enrolled 200 students in the VOP program. Fifty students have been baptized. The Central Zimbabwe Conference held an effort in October 2005 which resulted in 49 baptisms. The East Zimbabwe Conference spent time on the Hezekiah Operation, which helps Shepherdesses obtain self-reliance. They visited nonbelievers, conduct ed Bible studies, and baptized 39 people. In the Haggai Venture, Shepherdesses particpated in church building promotion programs.
Southern Asia-Pacific Division
Lucena Chambugong, Shepherdess Coordinator for the Bangladesh Union Mission (BAUM), appreciates the opportunity to write a short report of Shepherdess International work in their field for 2006:
1. Shepherdess International training seminars were conducted in four missions on various dates. Each mission has one Shepherdess Coordinator. Local mission leaders are also assigned a local church pastor’s wife to help her.
2. Shepherdess International evangelism programs were conducted in four missions: East Bangladesh Field, North Bangladesh Mission, South Bangladesh Mission, and West Bangladesh Mission. As a result, 146 souls were baptized. We are using all Shepherdesses, including retirees, and they are very happy to work with this project. Last year we had only a short time to do this program, but this year we are planning to do this program in the first part of the year.
3. We celebrated our pastors with a special appreciation program. Children presented special music, church members gave flowers to them, the Shepherdesses were also honored, and finally, they received a token of love from the church.
4. The local church Shepherdess leader formed home cell groups in different villages to pray and worship together.
5. A Shepherdess Advisory was held in BAUM with all mission Shepherdess Coordinators. Mrs. Helen B. Gulfan came from SSD. We are planning to do more training and evangelism with local Shepherdesses who are not paid workers. All are inspired and committed to conducting more effective programs in their own areas.
6. Social activities have been done in most of our local churches. These activities included: prayer bands, caring for the sick, home visitation, Bible study programs, help for widows, retreats, health programs, seminars on preparing for old age, and sharing old clothing.
In conclusion, I would like to share a quote from the Desire of Ages: “The Saviour’s commission to the disciples included all the believers. It includes all believers in Christ to the end of time. It is a fatal mistake to suppose that the work of saving souls depends alone on the ordained minister. All to whom the heavenly inspiration has come are put in trust with the gospel. All who receive the life of Christ are ordained to work for the salvation of their fellow men. For this work the church was established, and all who take upon themselves its sacred vows are thereby pledged to be co-workers with Christ” (p. 822).
Cote d’Ivoire: Shepherdesses met at the Ivory Coast for meetings with Angele Nlo Nlo, WAD Shepherdess Coordinator. Following is a pictorial report.