On January 3-9, 2011, Josephine Wari, West-Central Africa Division Shepherdess Coordinator, reports that 2,500 delegates from 22 countries in WAD met at Babcock University in Nigeria. This was the first meeting of its kind, bringing together leaders at to the progress of God’s work in this part of the continent. As the WAD Shepherdess Coordinator, I can say that the massive presence of the pastors’ wives is a clear indicator of the Shepherdesses’
This initiative, which was the inspiration of the Division President, Pastor Gilbert Wari, was a challenge in terms of human mobilization, finance, and most of all, spiritual enthusiasm. The theme of this gathering was “Revival and Reformation.”
The amazing thing about this meeting was the massive attendance of the pastors’ wives. Like an army ready for a mission, 900 Shepherdesses in uniform worked hand in glove to show, with their husbands, their total adherence and commitment need for their spiritual growth and total commitment in the ministry.
In his welcome, Professor Makinde, Vice Chancellor of Babcock University, declared: “This retreat will give a new orientation to service during this quinquennuim.”
Pastor Oyeleke Owolabi, President of the Northwestern Nigeria Union Mission and host of this meeting, stated: “We are here to seek [look] for solutions with the Master, and we wish that He will inspire His people and provide them with a good sense of orientation throughout this quinquennium.”
For Pastor Gilbert Wari, this retreat must bring forth a true revival and a deep reformation for the leaders first, and then for all the church members: “We are here to claim from God the outpouring of His Holy Spirit. We have fasted and prayed for this outpouring to be effective so that we can accomplish our mission in this division.”
The General Conference was represented by Pastor Jan Paulsen who, to the astonishment of many, served as a deacon during the Lord’s Supper. The Ministerial Department was also represented by Jerry and Janet Page, GC Ministerial Secretary and Shepherdess International Coordinator. Elder George Egwakhe, GC associate treasurer, was also present.
The presence of the Shepherdesses, both in quantity and quality, strongly contributed to the success of this spiritual rendezvous. This was a confirmation of their great support to the ministry.
At the end of the meeting, all the participants expressed their satisfaction and determination to take this wind of revival and reformation to their respective fields. The Shepherdesses, of course, have a vital role to play if this dream is to come true. They urged the division administration to have this kind of meeting regularly.