Health Professionals Challenged to Fully Embrace Adventist Global Health Ministry

The Seventh-day Adventist Church in Inter-America recently hosted a virtual health symposium for more than 2,500 health professionals 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 Adventist health ministry, as well as to highlight the synergy between health institutions across Inter-America.

It is important to maintain the culture of promoting health and wellness on a systematic basis as an essential part of our beliefs as Seventh-day Adventists, said Franck Généus, MD, director of ministries of health for the church in Inter-America, president of Adventist Healthcare Services Inter-America (AHS-IA) and principal organizer of the symposium.

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

Themed “Fulfilling God’s Mission Through Global Health Ministry,” 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 as well.

Global impact of the Ministry of Health

Peter Landless, MD, health ministries director for the Adventist world church, emphasized that the reach of the Adventist health message is global and 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, and provides $1 billion in the work of charity health each year. “It’s not trivial,” said Dr. Landless, “and has revolutionized the world.”

Dr. Landless remarked to the participants that they should not be medical missionaries only 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 healing [in] meet the hearts of people[s] to reveal his love and salvation,” Dr. Landless said, further calling for the comprehensive health ministry that the church follows a coeducational ministry. “We must reach out to men and women and help wherever needed to heal the sick and 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.

Each member is a center of hope, health and healing

Every church member is a center of hope, health and healing – a holistic approach,
Dr Landless said, adding that every church should be a center for providing useful health information beyond stress recovery, healthy cooking, exercise, addiction recovery and more. “We have a message, we have an option, we have a tool, we have a ministry.”

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. If you don’t have time to be well, you have to take the time.

Dedicated to Christlike Healing and Service

Pastor Lowell Cooper, former general vice president of the Adventist world church, reflected on comprehensive health ministry and its role in God’s mission. Cooper reviewed two of the six methodologies the church has defined for its work in the world: to live like Christ, to communicate like Christ, to make disciples like Christ, to teach like Christ, to heal like Christ and to serve. like Christ.

In Christlike healing, it is important to affirm the biblical principles of the well-being of the whole person, to make healthy living and the healing of the sick, the poor and the oppressed a priority in cooperation with the Creator in his work of compassionate restoration. , read Cooper.

Just as in biblical times, there are marginalized people in our society, suffering from poverty, war, natural calamities, abuse, brokenness, failure, fear of isolation, disease, pestilence and desperation, Cooper added. “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.

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

The Church for God’s Mission

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

“Let’s live the message of health we have received, think carefully and thoughtfully about a theology of suffering, and develop the practice of good neighborliness — going out into the community,” Cooper urged.

Pastor Elie Henry, president of the Inter-American Division, thanked the hundreds of healthcare professionals who serve hospitals and clinics in the territory for their crucial role in providing care and ministry to patients and the community that serves them. surrounded. “It’s important for us to come together and see how we can improve our service to God and influence people to understand that God has a special interest in us, for our health,” he said.

A brief historical overview of the Ministry of Health over the past 74 years was presented by Elie Honoré, MD, along with a special segment honoring him for his more than 30 years of dedicated service to Ministries of Health in Inter-America . In addition, the online program featured a question-and-answer session.

The symposium was the first in a series of specialty education meetings that will follow to appeal to nurses, physicians, therapists, psychologists, pharmacists and laboratory technicians over the months and years to come.

To watch the Inter-America Ministry of Health Symposium for Health Care Professionals:

For English:

May 7, HERE

May 8, HERE

For Spanish:

May 7, HERE

May 8, HERE

For French:

May 7, HERE

May 8, HERE

This article was originally published on the Inter-American Division website

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