It is thirty years since I accepted Christ as my Saviour and in those years, I feel that I have grown so little. Our village is incredibly remote and I meet with few other Christian women, never mind other pastors’ wives.
My husband pastors the small congregation in our village, with each family needing much encouragement amid the trials they face. As for our own family, we have seven children, five of whom are school age. In between caring for them and raising my ten chickens, I have to make sure the corn and vegetables are tended in order that we might have enough of a harvest.
This morning, I am making my way down the muddy mountainside to the city – a journey which will take me a little longer than anticipated because of the unusually heavy rain and its effect on the dilapidated roads. However, my heart is fit to burst with excitement, because today I will meet up with numerous other pastors’ wives who have been invited to the conference which our husbands attend annually. We are to hear some teaching and have discussion about how we can best work alongside our husbands in what is a difficult and a dangerous job.
We arrive at the venue in the city suburbs and as I approach the buildings where the conference will take place, I can already hear the chatter and laughter of the other women as they prepare the vegetables for the mid–day meal. I am welcomed and invited to take a seat in the circle where some pound mounds of chillies and green beans into a paste while others wash rice. The atmosphere is light and the anticipation of the teaching to come creates an expectancy filled with joy.
Although the national constitution rules for the equality of men and women, seldom within rural settings is that the case. As a result of negligent (and at times oppressive) government policy, the vast majority of women here are poorly educated. To be invited to a women’s conference was a dream come true. I had watched my husband grow as he attended the annual gatherings and often felt a little jealous of his progress.
Later, as our teacher begins to open up the Word of God, I learn some wonderful truths about how God sees me and how He loves me. I learn how God has uniquely created each one of us to be His servants, and am shown a number of ways to share the story which is uniquely mine with other women back home, many of whom know nothing of God’s salvation plan.
How I wish I had heard all this before! Fear has been a huge obstacle in my Christian walk – fear of the authorities and what might happen to us because we are Christians. However, today I learned that when God gives us a job to do, no matter how dangerous, He also gives the strength and the courage to accomplish the task.
As I say goodbye to the other ladies and join my husband on our journey back to the village, I have much to reflect on. We share what we have both learned and I tell him how grateful I am for those who have made this possible for me. I am already excited about the next opportunity to get together with other pastors’ wives and learn more about our incredible God.
This article first appeared in our new–look ‘Impact’ magazine. Don’t miss the next edition!