TAYLOR, MI – From the Hot Climate of the Philippines to a cold state, obeying and following the calling of the Lord, I, together with my husband and 5 children (ages 3-11 years old), moved to Michigan in September 1990. My husband, Roberto was called to pastor the First Filipino Baptist Church in Dearborn, MI. It was a big transition for me as a mother and as a pastor’s wife. It was not easy for my children as well. We struggled for the first 3 years both financially and emotionally. I had to work to help support my husband in the ministry and in providing for our family. Such struggle has been a valuable tool for me in encouraging other Filipino pastors’ wives as they transitioned into the ministry here in Michigan. God has used our church, now called Philippine International Baptist Church, in starting 5 churches in Michigan and in Windsor, Canada.
Looking back, I entered seminary in 1973. In my years of study at the seminary, I prayed that God would give me someone who is also involved in the ministry, not knowing what to expect, God gave me a pastor. Roberto, entered the seminary in 1975 and in 1978 we tied the knot, and since have been partners in the ministry serving the Lord wherever He leads us.
As a pastor’s wife, I learned to be flexible in meeting the needs of our family, our members and the Filipino community in Michigan. During the early years of our ministry in Michigan, my husband and I tried to reach out to new immigrants by affording them some help, like teaching them how to secure a driver’s license, open a bank account, and driving them around when needed. We would also invite them to our home for a time of fellowship and Bible study. As a result, we became an extended family to many of them and by the grace of God, many of them have come to know the Lord.
I have been a big sister to some of the women. They called me Ate Rose (“Ate” means big sister). Now, most of them are married and have children. I see my role now as giving them motherly counsel and to be there for them whenever needed. The Lord is not done with me yet. My desire is to continue helping others, especially young pastors’ wives, and encouraging them to be steadfast in the ministry despite the struggles involved. God called me to serve Him with my whole heart wherever He puts me. I am called to a life of love, service, and obedience. I am responsible to live out my faith wherever I am today, trusting and honoring God. I am blessed.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Rose Santos is a wife, mother, teacher and women’s ministry leader, who lives in Dearborn, MI. Her husband, Roberto Santos, is Senior Pastor of Philippine International Baptist Church in Taylor, MI. They have 5 grown children, 3 of which are married with 7 grandchildren. Rose holds three degrees: BA in business administration, Masters in Christian Counseling and Theology.