Shepherdess International News

Shepherdess International News

News from around the world field.

By the Journal team. 

East-Central Africa Division

Shepherdesses and elders’ wives met at camp meeting at the Najjanakumbi Church in Uganda.

North American Division

The Pacific Union Conference held their Ministerial Council August 19-22 in Ontario, California. The theme was “Ministry—More Than You Can Imagine!” Presenters for the pastoral-spouse meetings were Cheryl Simpson, Anita Roberts, and Karen Martell.

Southern Asia Division

Orissa, India: There are 15 adult literacy centers in Orissa; nine facilitators are pastors’ wives, and six are lay women. According to the statistics, there are 402 students from various religions, including Muslim and Hindu. The women are learning to read and write, how to care for children, and various other subjects.

A few facilitators have encouraged some income-generating projects which attracts many women. In the Lanjipalli Center, each member brought 300 rupees to start a small-scale business to raise income for poor people.

In the Rourkela Center, a lady named Sunni attends classes regularly. Since she takes care of her grandchild she sits with her to learn her lessons while her grandchild studies her lessons. Sunni has learned to write her name.

An older lady at the Pahirsirgida Center did not have a chance to attend school when she was a girl, even though she had a desire to learn, because her parents were too poor. She is now a regular member of the class and anxiously waits for the bell to ring so she can start studying. Her children are excited that she has this opportunity and help her study at home. She can read now, so she carries a Bible to church.

Phulomoni Suren, a 48-year-old lady who attended the Kadilpal Center, is a quick learner and can read well. She used to hide her books and slate so no one would laugh at her going to class, but now she proudly carries her materials. Her husband also encourages her to attend the adult literacy classes. She never dreamed she would be able to learn to read and write. She is thankful for this facility.

Naiveli Cahnga, facilitator, conducts classes for two groups. One day several government officials visited the village. Hearing about the adult literacy classes, they came into the church to see what was happening. They questioned Naiveli to see if she was conducting classes in the church to convert the students to Christianity. She answered clearly that it was convenient for her to keep the teaching materials safe inside the church after class. They watched for some time, realized that she was telling truth, and left quietly.

Between April 11-14, 2007, 15 new adult literacy classes were conducted by the pastors’ wives. They taught classes in health and hygiene, the futility of witchcraft, and other subjects. It is already making a difference in the lives of nearly 400 women and their families.

On April 11, 2007, evangelistic meetings were held at Adventist Hill-Tracts Seminary and School in East Bangladesh. Prior to this meeting, eight people accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. There were 46 men and women attending the meeting.

Southern Asia-Pacific Division

Bangladesh Union Mission: On October 4-6, 2007, a Shepherdess evangelistic meeting and elders/shepherdess training seminar was held at the Mushuria Village in South Bangladesh Union Mission. About 250 people attended the meetings; among them were Muslims, Hindus, Baptists, Catholics, and Assembly of God believers. On Sabbath, 29 people were baptized. Each baptismal candidate was given a Bible. The shepherdesses are so enthusiastic and eager to serve the church.

On April 11, 2007, evangelistic meetings were held at Adventist Hill-Tracts Seminary and School in East Bangladesh. Prior to this meeting, eight people accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. There were 46 men and women attending the meeting.

It is becoming very difficult to have baptisms in Bangladesh. Sometimes instead of a river or pond, mission leaders use drums for baptism. But still the people trust God and appreciate prayers on their behalf.

North Philippine Union Mission: Eleanor Roque reports from North Philippine Union Mission that a Pastoral Partners Continuing Education Program (PPCEP) was launched by the shepherdesses of the North Philippine Mission in the Southern-Asia Pacific Division, which was attended by 90 pastoral wives from missions and conferences. Dr. Eleanor V. Roque, NPUM Shepherdess Coordinator, was inspired to organize a similar program in her Union territory after PPCEP was shared with her by Merilyn Webster, Shepherdess Coordinator of the South Pacific Division.

After undergoing a full group study, shepherdesses who enrolled in the program earned seven continuing education units for four basic courses, two electives and one ministry specialty. Launching the PPCEP as a seminar is only an initial endeavor. Subsequent courses to be offered in the next two years will be done on a home study basis. A certificate of achievement was issued to those who attained full certification.

Serving as resource persons were experienced and highly knowledgeable pastors wives’ and women leaders such as Mrs. Helen Gulfan, Dr. Miriam Tumangday, Dr. Joyce Dy, Dr. Eleanor Roque, Mrs. Esther Daquila, Mrs. Cynthia Faigao, and Dr. Francisco Gayoba, the Union Ministerial Secretary.
Meanwhile, an SI Quest was also conducted during the break time of PPCEP. This exciting oral quiz tested the pastoral wives’ knowledge of the Bible and fundamental Adventist beliefs. Nine shepherdesses were recognized as “SI Quest champions.” A celebration fellowship banquet served as the culminating activity of this special program.