We heard stories. Many stories. Windows into the lives of others on a similar journey. Some of victories experienced, some of disappointments endured, others of aloneness and confusion – all spoken with openness and seeming trust. That’s why being invited to share with about 30 ministerial spouses attending the Ontario Conference Workers Meeting Spouses sessions in Ajax on January 23-25 this year was a special privilege for me.
The careful planning of Sharon Edwards, Ontario Conference Ministerial Spouse leader, and her faithful team was evident and featured devotionals by Cathy Anderson, Alice Emerson and Jade Yeonsu Jeon, a special report by Jean Martin on the group’s 2016 discussions, and an informative and appreciated presentation on personal finances by Ulysses Guarin, Treasurer of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Canada. The time also featured different prayer stations each day and much small and large group discussion. The spouses’ children were well cared for by Maria McClean, the Children’s Ministries Director of the conference and her large-hearted team.
One poignant moment for me came when I heard a bright and gifted pastors’ wife that I’ve long respected say to her small group, “I can’t remember ever thinking what I was passionate about doing.
I really don’t know. My whole life has been spent supporting others and focusing on meeting their needs."
I left my Ontario friends grateful for having witnessed some of the best of why ministerial spouses come together. To connect, listen, share, be real, discover and feel the touch of Jesus from Him and through someone on a similar journey. Reminds me of Albert Schweitzer's words in his little book, Reverence for Life (page 28), "Impart as much as you can of your spiritual being to those who are on the road with you, and accept as something precious what comes back to you from them."
Donna Jackson enjoys working as an associate director in the Ministerial Department of the North American Division and is responsible for overseeing the support of ministerial spouses.