First, how did you meet your husband? And how long have you been married?
We met at a friend’s house. He was having a prayer meeting with his friends and I came in to drop off an item for someone who happened to be at that prayer meeting. That meeting led to another meeting which eventually led to a date. We have been married for ten years as of last November. Time really flies, and it has been a wonderful ten years of God’s grace.
Amen! How many children do you have?
We have three children: two boys and a girl. I fondly refer to them as 3Ds because their names all start with D.
We all know people come and go from Beijing for different reasons. What was it that brought you and your family to Beijing?
Our marriage brought me to Beijing. My husband was living in Beijing and I was living in Abuja, Nigeria before we got married. After the wedding, I came to China and joined him.
Amazing! Tell us all about your congregation you and your husband serve at.
AOM (Anointing Overflow Ministry) is one of the congregations of BICF (Beijing International Christian Fellowship) family of churches. We meet every Sunday on the 3rd floor of the 21st Century Hotel and run services at 9am and 11am.
Our Mission is to make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey all the commandments of Jesus Christ. Our vision is to raise up anointed disciple-makers who are empowered to change their world for Christ. We have a vibrant community of believers who are passionate about Jesus.
Some people claim that the Bible does not provide specific instruction on the role of a pastor’s wife. What kind of role would you say the wife of a pastor must take?
The pastor’s wife plays a very significant role in the life of the church. She is the mother of the church. She carries a big spiritual umbrella to care for all the members in the church, but especially the women. She cares for the flock spiritually and physically.
I believe so much in prayer. As a pastor’s wife, I have the responsibility to pray for the members, in addition to checking on them. I need to be there for the members as a mother.
The pastor’s wife needs to be able to support her husband and care for her children. The key role is to love the people genuinely so that she is compassionate enough to be available spiritually, physically, relationally, and emotionally. She can preach, teach, lead, mentor, disciple, counsel and many more. In fact, she is also a pastor in function even if she is not addressed as such.
I would definitely agree with that! What kind of ministry do you personally do?
I lead the women’s ministry known as DOZ (Daughters of Zion). We meet every Tuesday at 6pm. I do a lot of one-on-one counseling to our members but especially to the women in the church. I do trainings for younger women to equip them as virtuous women. I also preach at the church.
It sure sounds like you are blessing many people! What do you enjoy most about being a pastoring family?
I enjoy connecting with people and as a pastoring family, I get many opportunities to meet people and help them in their life journey. It is exciting when you see transformations through your little contribution in their life. However, it does take a lot of energy and time to accomplish this which can be a big challenge.
We all know that any marriage involves a lot of sacrifice. What sacrifices are specifically associated with being the wife of a pastor?
Being the wife of pastor does involve a lot of sacrifice. The biggest will be time. It takes a lot of time and energy. It also takes you out of your comfort zone to relate with people especially if you are not wired that way. It will stretch you.
I bet! We also know that the Enemy loves to attack marriages. What kinds of spiritual attack is a pastor’s wife typically up against?
People misunderstanding you will be the major attack. It is an attack on the mind. You are trying to evaluate how effective you are in serving the congregation. No matter how much you give of yourself, people will still misunderstand you. It is important to understand that the members are at different level of spiritual maturity and to do your best to understand them at the point of their maturity.
Yes, feeling constantly misunderstood would be a struggle. So what misconceptions and unfair expectations do people tend to have about the pastor’s wife?
Sometimes people will look down on you and think that you are just a pastor’s wife, so you don’t have much to offer them. At the other extreme, some people expect you to be super-woman. As a pastor’s wife, you need to strike a balance to serve the people well and to have your life. You shouldn’t be pressured to become who you are not. Just be yourself!
BICF is made up of people from many different countries, denominations and backgrounds. How is pastoring in Beijing different than pastoring in your home country?
Pastoring in Beijing is harder because it is a mixture of people different nationalities who come with their cultural biases. The same goes for the different denominational backgrounds. People expect church to happen the way they do it back home. We have learnt to embrace this diversity and enjoy the beauty of the global body of Christ.
Wonderful! Finally, what advice would you have for a younger pastor’s wife?
My advice to a younger pastor’s wife would be to always have time to pray. Ensure that your fireplace is always on fire as you pray continually. His presence makes the difference. When you spend time in His presence you will come out and shine for Jesus. Don’t look down on yourself. You are making significant kingdom impact. It is an honor to be a pastor’s wife.
Secondly, be available to your husband and your children. Invest in your kids, study the Bible together, pray together, and do life together. You family must be your first ministry. I put the sequence this way: God is first, family is second, and ministry is third.
Finally, I would like to end with this quote:
“If you want to shine in the public, first and foremost shine in your fireplace”.
Wisdom we can apply no matter where we are in life! Thank you so much for sharing with us today, Helen! If you have a question or comment leave it in the comments section below. Readers, let’s continue to be in prayer for our pastors and their families.