Health Professionals Challenged to Embrace Adventist Health Ministry

The Inter-American Division (IAD) of the Seventh-day Adventist Church recently hosted a virtual health symposium for more than 2,500 medical professionals and health workers working in the network of 14 hospitals and 21 clinics across the territory. . The symposium has become the premier territory-wide event designed to help health professionals understand the philosophy, history, and particularities of Adventism’s global health ministry, as well as to present an overview health facilities through the DIA.

It is important to maintain a culture of promoting health and wellness on a systematic basis as an essential part of our beliefs as Seventh-day Adventists, according to Franck Généus, director of health ministries at the DIA and president of Adventist Healthcare Services Inter-America (AHS-IA). Geneus was the main organizer of the symposium.

Former Inter-American Division health ministries director Elie Honore reviews the history of Adventist health and health care philosophy over the years. [Photo: IAD screenshot]

The virtual symposium was also aimed at Adventist health professionals and their colleagues who work outside of the church organization, teaching them practical ways to share the Adventist health message where they work.

Themed “Fulfilling God’s Mission Through Global Health Ministry” and held April 7-8, 2022, the event challenged health professionals, church leaders and members at large to be instrumental in their individual ministry by demonstrating practical ways to share the health message through community impact activities.

Global Impact of Ministries of Health

Adventist Church health ministries director Peter Landless highlighted the global reach of the Adventist health message and the fact that the church has been recognized as the leading denominational network in the Protestant world. The church owns and operates 1,000 health care facilities with more than 36,000 beds and 78,000 employees and sees 1.5 million admissions and 20 million outpatients each year, as well as providing US$1 billion in charitable health work each year. “It’s not trivial,” Landless said, and it changed the world.

Landless reminded participants that they should not only be medical missionaries in hospitals and clinics, but also at home and in the community.

“Let us never forget that there is a connection between healing and salvation, and the Spirit of God uses the healing of people’s hearts to reveal his love and salvation,” Landless said. It is a mixed ministry, he said, of the full health ministry followed by the church. “We must reach out to men and women and help where needed, to heal the sick and the suffering, physically as well as spiritually.” It’s about meeting people’s needs while revealing God’s love to them. “We have a [health] message; we have a mandate; we have a method, and it is important that we have a ministry and a mission,” Landless said.

Each member, a center of hope, health and healing

Every church member is a center of hope, health and healing – a holistic approach, he said. Every church should be a hub to provide useful health information related to stress recovery, healthy cooking, exercise, addiction recovery, etc., Landless added. “We have a message; we have an option; we have a tool; we have a ministry,” he said.

peter landless health nice apr2022
Adventist Church health ministries director Peter Landless speaks to hundreds of health professionals about comprehensive health ministries that have been led by the church for nearly 150 years, 7 April 2022. [Photo: IAD screenshot]

Landless appealed to health professionals to lead healthy lives in order to better witness to those around them. “The more perfect our health, the more perfect our work,” he said. “If you don’t have time to be well, you have to take the time.”

Dedicated to Christlike Healing and Service

Former Adventist Church general vice president Lowell Cooper reflected on comprehensive health ministry and its role in God’s mission. He reviewed two of the six methodologies the church has defined for its work in the world: living in the image of Christ; Communicate Christlike; make Christlike disciples; a Christlike teaching; Christ-like healing; and serve in the way of Christ.

In Christ-like healing, Cooper said, it is important to affirm biblical principles of whole-person wellness, wholesome living and healing of the sick, poor and oppressed. a priority in cooperation with the Creator in His compassionate work of restoration.

Just like in biblical times, there are marginalized people in our society, who suffer from poverty, war, natural calamities, abuse, estrangement, failure, fear of isolation, disease, pestilence and despair, Cooper said. “Our ministry in this work is not only in the realm of ideas and doctrines; it is also manifested in deeds, deeds of mercy, healing, justice, fairness, forgiveness and compassion.

He added, “Following the example of Jesus, we pledge to serve humbly, serving individuals and populations most affected by poverty, tragedy, despair and disease.”

A church for the mission of God

Cooper challenged medical professionals to think more about mission as God’s mission. “I strongly believe that God doesn’t have a mission for the church as much as he has a church for his mission,” he said. Fulfilling God’s mission through comprehensive health ministries is about caring for the whole person; it is a ministry, not just a methodology. He is interested in well-being, not just in the treatment of disease. It is a continuum of care for physical, social, spiritual and mental well-being, and it is a collaborative ministry not only within the church but with other organizations engaged in the community development, he explained.

“Let’s live the health message we’ve been given, think carefully and thoughtfully about a theology of suffering, and develop the practice of going out into the community,” Cooper said.

the original version of this story was published on the Inter-American Division news sites.

Comments are closed.