Josephine Wari is a woman of many talents: in addition to serving as the Shepherdess coordinator for the West-Central (WAD) she is also the associate director in the education department.
It hasn’t always been that way. In the 1990s, Josephine held a high-paying and rewarding position working for the government of Cameroon as a national high school inspector. At that time, Josephine’s husband, Pastor Gilbert Wari, was serving as the Central-South Mission president in Sangmelima, two hours away from the country’s capital city of Yaoundé, where Josephine was serving in the national government.
With the approval of her supervisor, Josephine had arranged her schedule so that she was at the mission headquarters Friday through Monday, while she worked at her office in Yaoundé Tuesday through Thursday. However, some at the church’s union office in Yaoundé felt strongly that as the mission president’s wife, Josephine should stay at the mission in Sangmelima full time. “The only solution to save my husband’s ministry,” she recalled, “was to resign from my government position.” To make up for the lost income, Josephine cultivated and sold vegetables.
However, when her husband was called to work at the union office in Yaoundé, government officials rehired Josephine to the same position she had previously held.
In 2002, when Pastor Wari was elected division secretary for the West-Central Africa Division, located in Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire, Josephine once again resigned from her governmental position in order to follow and support her husband’s ministry.
In spite of twice resigning from her work in order to support her husband’s ministry, Josephine is not bitter. “I am happy to serve the Lord and His people in the remnant church, despite the challenges,” she says.
“I am happy that my church is the remnant church, and as such, is actively proclaiming the good news of salvation to all nations in various ways, in order to hasten the soon coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. My church is a movement, integrating new light, such as adopting the new,, twenty-eighth fundamental belief. Praise the Lord for the gift of discernment and maturity!”
COMMITTED TO GOD’S WORK
Josephine and Gilbert met at a local church during the service one Sabbath day in 1993. By the following year, they were married in a local church in Yaoundé, Cameroon.
The two were dedicated church workers, serving locally as a deacon and deaconess, and Josephine as the church’s personal ministries leader. Later, Gilbert served as the pastor of two churches in Yaoundé and then as the head of a church district. They continued their service to the church when Gilbert became a departmental director at the union office and then the first academic dean of the Cosendai Adventist University in Nanga Eboko, Cameroon. Later he went to the West-Central Africa Division as executive secretary, and now he serves as division president.
The couple have three children: Nene, who serves as an office secretary; Eric, who is pursuing studies in Canada; and Salem, who is currently in high school.
PROVIDING SUPPORT AND SERVICE
Josephine feels called to support her pastor husband in a number of ways: “By praying for him and his colleagues, and for the division, and by following him wherever he is called to serve in the world church.” She also supports him by “giving him healthy food, helping solve family challenges when he is very busy with the mission entrusted to him, and by advising him when it is needed.”
As division Shepherdess coordinator, Josephine organizes retreats and conventions for the pastoral wives and encourages them to acquire more education for better service. She also urges them to live a healthy lifestyle and to actively participate in the programs of the world church, such as the Bible reading and 777 prayer initiatives, along with the Great Controversy Project.
Josephine also encourages an active mentoring program, in which older, more experienced pastoral wives “monitor and encourage the ministry” of the younger ones. Prayer is also a part of Josephine’s ministry, as she prays with and for pastoral wives, their husbands, and children.
Continuing to set an example in personal ministry, Josephine enjoys sharing Christian literature; singing; witnessing to women, children, and others; and organizing evangelistic campaigns through small groups. She also enjoys planting church schools, serving as a counselor, and being a seminar facilitator.
Although she continues to lead a busy life, Josephine keeps her balance by:
- Asking God to help her plan and keep a balanced life.
- Setting an order of priorities.
- Planning activities properly.
- Being disciplined and keeping to her planned schedule.
But for Josephine, serving the Lord is more than just a checklist—it’s a joy! It’s the “joy of sharing with others, the joy of service to others, and the joy of leading people to Christ.”