Cameroon Union Mission Shepherdess International Congress
CAMEROON – Shepherdess: Cameroon Union Mission Shepherdess International Congress.
[Photo: Family picture]
From the 18th to the 21st of August 2021, not less than 105 pastors’ spouses gathered at the SDA Bertoua Central church for the Cameroon Union Mission Shepherdess Congress. Activities were presided over by Pastor Assembé Minyono Valère Guillaume, the Union President and Director for the Ministerial Association. The theme of this congress was “I Will go as a Pastor’s wife.” In his opening meditation, the Union President invited participants to rely on the Holy Spirit in order to be spared from the viruses of negligence and sin that are more deadly than Covid-19 that is actually a threat to the world. His opening message was followed by the solemn launching of the congress.
Activities of this congress centered around four high points: presentations by resource persons, brain storming workshops, report from the various fields of the union, and recreational activities.
The Ministerial Secretary for the Union, Pasteur Timothée Ngba called on the pastors’ spouses to work in building their spiritual life, to support their husbands in their ministry, while keeping in mind that they are not assistant pastors. They neither have to fight for position in the church administration. Doctor Yannick Angoula, the Union Health Director brought some clarifications on the current Covid-19 pandemic. He began by presenting the effects of covid-19 among Adventists in Cameroon Union Mission. He further explained the symptoms, and the prevention of this disease. One aspect of his presentation that raised many questions from the Shepherdess was the thorny issue of covid-19 vaccination. The physician admonished his listeners to go for the vaccination. He revealed that according to statistics, only 0.03% of the total population in Cameroon has received two doses of the covid-19 vaccine.
[Photo: Pastors workshop activities]
Mrs. Pulchérie Tchoualeu, wife of a retired Pastor, gave a presentation on “The Dress Code of the Pastor’s Wife.” Through biblical references from Romans 13:14; Zephaniah 1:18; Matthew 22:11 and Romans 12:2, she appealed to the wives of the servants of God not to conform to the standards of this world, but to be attached to the virtues of decency, modesty, dignity, and submission that are promoted by the Holy Scriptures. Pastor Yangman Avom Armand Arnaud, The Union Communication, Public Relations and Religious Liberty Drector expounded on “Hospitality as a Christian Virtue to be Found in the Pastor’s Family” (1 Timothy 3:2), - it should be practiced without hoping for anything in return. From analysis of some biblical references, he explained that hospitality was practiced in four main stages during biblical times. The first step was the initial invitation of the stranger, secondly the identification of the stranger and the reasons of his visit, thirdly, lodging, accommodation and preparations for his or her send off. Pastor Assembé Minyono Valère, the Union President made a presentation on “The Biblical Perspectives on Divorce.” He insisted on the fact that the church is against divorce, and should not encourage the separation of spouses, but work for their reconciliation. This position was supported by biblical references such as Malachi 2:2-16; Matthew 19:3-10 and 1 Corinthians 7:10, 11.
[Photo: Shepherdess workshop activities]
The workshop activities were intended to formulate the resolutions of this congress. The themes that were debated included among others “The dress code that is recommended for shepherdess and that which is to be proscribed; hair-dressing and make-up; how can pastors encourage their wives to adopt an appropriate dress code; and the choice of the venue for the next congress.
Report of activities from the fields for the last two years were presented by the secretaries, followed by questions and answers.
Closing activities of this congress included the closing of prayer partnership that was organized in 2019. Each Shepherdess prepared a token for their prayer partner. All ended in praise to the glory of the Lord through a musical concert during which each field presented three musical pieces. After the closing declaration and prayer by the Union President, appointment was made for 2023 in the West-Cameroon Conference.
Yangman Avom Armand Arnaud