The Asian pastors’ wives of the Pacific Union Conference had its annual meeting in conjunction with the union’s Asian Pastors’ Convention last February 19-22, 2017 held at the Ontario Airport Hotel and Conference Center in Ontario, California.
“Biblical Spirituality” was presented on the first day by Pastor Esther Knott, NAD Associate Ministerial Director. Her talk addressed how the pastor’s wife approaches the work God has called her to do. Counsels of wisdom were given to the ladies based from the Word of God. A ceremony on forgiveness, a vital element in spiritual growth, was done to end the morning session. No matter how unforgivable the situation or the person is, learning to forgive gives way to freedom – freedom from the bondage of the past that weighs one down, and God’s freedom to fulfill His wonderful plan for one’s life. On a positive note, “Daily Dosage of a Happy Life” was presented in the afternoon by Imelda Arreola, NAD Asian Shepherdess Coordinator. Knowing how busy and dedicated as wives, mothers, professionals, and pastors’ wives these ladies are, she deemed it a vital reminder for them to be grounded, balanced, and positive. Inspite of the busyness of life, we need balance in the physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual aspects of our being. Even just reading a book, being with nature, spending quality time with family, and especially spending time alone with God can make a tremendous difference in one’s day.
On the next morning, Mrs. Karen Martell, Prayer Ministries Coordinator of Southeastern California Conference emphasized the importance of “Prayer in the Life of a Pastor’s Wife.” She spoke passionately on the power of prayer. Inspite of life’s challenges, God has blessings in disguise. With her touching personal testimony, she mentioned that in whatever circumstance one is in, God is always there. She wrapped up her presentation by saying, “My story is God’s story.” She further added, “Your story is God’s story!” In the afternoon, Judith Teves, Jedidiah Gaurino, and Sepela Fepulei gave testimonies of God’s faithfulness in their lives that encouraged the rest of the group. Teves whose dad was a pastor planned not to be a pastor’s wife, but ironically she became one and testified of God’s marvelous blessings. Four of them, brothers and sisters, graduated from college. Her own three children finished their college education. Once a worldly young lady and the least likely to be married to a pastor, Gaurino soon married one and were sent to work in a remote place while pregnant with their first son and was caught in a crossfire between the military and the insurgent group. Praise the Lord for His protection, their three sons including the first-born are now professionals. Fepulei, a nurse who firmly decided getting married to a man other than a pastor ended up marrying one. She has been very supportive to her husband’s calling. Their son and daughter are now both pastors. Testimonies were followed by Group Dynamics with four questions for discussion. They are as follows. Do you believe God called you to the ministry with your pastor-husband? How do you balance your life as a wife, mother, pastor’s wife, professional, and a child of God?
When the inevitable comes and your husband receives a call to another pastorate, how do you process it? Do you have some tips for a smooth move? At this point in time, how do you envision yourself in the next five years – as an individual, a wife, mother, pastor’s wife, and daughter of God? During the course of the meetings, Bher Sacay intimated, “Thank you for encouraging us to have a closer walk with God.” Another said, “Thank you for caring enough for us to be prayerful women of God.” Yet another thanked “for reminding us to support our husbands and the ministry.” During sharing time, Glee Ascuna, a young pastor’s wife who’s been praying earnestly for a child spoke the resolve of her group, “We will go with our husbands wherever the Lord calls us to serve Him; with or without job, with or without money.” The pastor-husbands later expressed how grateful they were for the mountain-top experience they have witnessed in their wives.
During the last meeting, Mrs. Donna Jackson, NAD Pastoral Spouses Coordinator, enjoined the group for “Commitment and Anointing.” There were six stations where the ladies could go, reflect on, and pray for their concerns. They were on family, service, forgiveness, anointing, redemption, and Jesus resurrection. It was such a beautiful sight seeing these women of God who have been called to feed the sheep that He has given them to care for.... being fed themselves. God answered our prayers! He has blessed us with speakers and topics to rejuvenate our walk with God and service for Him. I believe that we need a little more of Mary (sitting at the feet of Jesus) to be better Marthas (serving God and His people). Putting things in proper perspective, one could see revival and everyone’s passion alive in “Fulfilling the Vision,” the convention’s theme. This three-day event was punctuated with a banquet where over a hundred pastors’ wives were recognized, honored, gifted, and affirmed for their labor of love for God with their husbands to the delight of all present, “and heaven,” the group quipped.