Thus Far the Lord has Helped Us

Celebrating 25 years of Ministry to pastoral spouses.

Helen B. Gulfan, SI Coordinator, Southern Asia-Pacific Division, Philippines

In forty-plus years of ministry, I have witnessed an evolution in the ministry to clergy spouses in my area of the “vineyard.” In the early days, there were no meetings for the devoted wives who tagged along at ministerial meetings. Their only recourse was to compare notes about ministry, the milestones of their children, and dollar-stretching strategies. I thank God that the picture has changed in my era.

I remember the advent of well-organized clubs with elected officers, scheduled meetings, and defined projects. The younger wives actively engaged and enjoyed meetings on spiritual, professional, and academic themes, as well as presentations on domestic duties. We developed quarterly newsletters and gradually ventured into the community with projects that showed how much we cared for all of God’s children.

Ministry to Clergy Spouses was on the move. Chapters increased. As we became more definite and intentional about our aspirations, we gained denominational recognition. There were conference-sponsored retreats for pastors’ wives.

The spouses reached out to PKs through camps, parties, outings, and guidance for community outreach.

I remember where we came from. I celebrate with praise and thankfulness where we are now. “Hitherto hath the Lord helped us” (1 Sam. 7:12, KJV).

Congratulations to Shepherdess International (SI) for serving pastoral spouses and families for 25 years! I am thankful for SI’s work in empowering pastoral spouses to be all that God means them to be, and for the inspiration and help The Journal offers clergy spouses. The Journal has played a great part in relieving the fears and developing the confidence of both young and old pastoral spouses.

All of our pastoral spouses from the Southern Asia-Pacific Division join voices in expressing our gratitude to those who have contributed for the past 25 years. Happy Silver Anniversary to The Journal! Kudos to the GC Shepherdess directors and editors who have published this magazine over the past 25 years. Keep up the good work!