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When I say that I am writing this column from a desert place, please understand that I am literally writing this column from a desert place. Many times we use that phrase metaphorically, but, in this case, I am literally staring out the window at the New Mexico desert as I type these words.

My wife and daughters and I are nearing the end of a 10-day mission trip that included a foray down into Mexico itself as well. Missionary Steven Sykes, whom our church has supported for many years, has started two works in New Mexico and is currently doing a great work in the town of Deming, a city steeped both in great need and great beauty.

Our trip here took us through North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi (where, thank you, Ray Stevens, we could not resist stopping in Pascagoula for a bit), Louisiana, Texas (if you are ever there, find a Buc-ee's station to stop at; trust me on this one), and then New Mexico.

Mount Calvary Baptist Church, which Brother Sykes founded and is pastoring, is flourishing in this desert; God has abundantly blessed the work.

As a lifelong rockhound, I have been thrilled to go out on some private property here and find arrowheads and shards of pottery, pieces of lovely orange carnelian and many other specimens. We have gotten to see and trek through the City of Rocks, one of the most amazing places I have ever beheld, and we have eaten some of the world-famous Hatch green chili peppers. Blake's Lotaburger is a must-try when you are here, as is the Si Senor restaurant.

And shame on you if you miss the breathtaking Deming Museum.

But for all of those great experiences, it was something much smaller that has been the highlight of the trip for me thus far.

There is a two-hour time difference between New Mexico and North Carolina. And thus it was that right at 9 in the morning here, 11 in the morning back home, Dana's phone rang with the now-familiar church Ring doorbell/camera tone. Every Sunday morning, a couple of awesome young boys in the church have gotten into the habit of ringing it to see if my wife will answer them from the office.

When it rang this morning, I heard my wife say, "Hellooooo!" and then I heard both of the boys begin to excitedly talk back to her. "You answered! We didn't know if you would answer from out there!"

That began a cool conversation where she reminded them to go to the bathroom before church, behave in service, not to be up running around, etc. From 1,800 miles away, these kids pushed a button to talk to the pastor's wife, and she loved on them from half a continent away.

I write often to pastors. But, fellas, feel free to take a backseat for a moment here.

To you pastors' wives out there, and to you who perhaps do not appreciate them as fully as you should, please allow me to say a few words.

Pastors' wives have a task that is, in some ways, harder than that of the pastor himself. The pastor has a pulpit to speak from for two or three hours each week. He can (hopefully in a godly, Spirit-filled manner) get things off his chest. But his wife has no such luxury. She likely puts as much time and effort into the work as he does, yet he gets all of the notice. But without that dear lady behind him, woe to any man who tries to do the work of ministry.

Ma'am, what you do is vital, essential and meaningful. You may not deliver a message, but you will be the one whose "button" people of all ages push to try to speak to. And your words can thrill the heart of a child, cheer the heart of the sad, warn the heart of the unruly and call the heart of the drifting. You can keep your husband out of the dumps. You can be the model that young wives look to, many of whom may not have had any other safe model in life. You can be the tender shoulder that people cry on when the pastor, so often dressed in "the whole armor of God" is a good warrior, but not much of a comforter.

If you have a good pastor's wife, thank God for her. Love her. Love on her children. Defend her. She will be the heartbeat when a pastor is all backbone; she will be the voice of moderation when the pastor is all John the Baptist and no John the Beloved. She will be the one that little children call from half a continent away.

Proverbs 18:22 says, "Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing and obtaineth favour of the Lord." Thinking on my "good thing," I am convinced that, like a flower blooming in the desert, there will never be anyone quite like her.

Bo Wagner is pastor of Cornerstone Baptist Church of Mooresboro, North Carolina, a widely traveled evangelist and the author of several books available on Amazon and at www.wordofhismouth.com. Email him at 2knowhim@cbc-web.org.

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Pastor Bo Wagner
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