ATCU Participates in Health Initiative Training

ATCU Participates in Health Initiative Training
By Communication Department, ATCU

“What does the story of Jesus casting out the money changers from the temple have to do with us living healthy lives?” asked Mrs. Sherline Henriques, health ministries director of the Atlantic Caribbean Union of Seventh-day Adventists (ATCU), as she addressed participants from the South Bahamas Conference (SBC) attending the “Train the Trainer” seminar on Sunday, April 12, 2015, at the Breath of Life Seventh-day Adventist Church, Nassau, The Bahamas in preparation for the launch of ATCU’s “I Want to Live Healthy” initiative.

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“Jesus wanted the temple to be a house of prayer, and in this same manner, He wants our bodies to be cleaned out so that it can truly be His temple and be used by Him,” explained Mrs. Henriques.

For 2015, ATCU has adopted the health initiative dubbed “I Want to Live Healthy” that will challenge church members to live healthy and encourage them to go out into the community to inspire others to do so as well.

The major difference between this health initiative and other such programs is that instead of church members inviting people to come to a health program conducted at their churches, they will be going to homes and communities to challenge individuals and families to follow basic health principles. 

Mrs. Nathelyn LaCroix, health ministries director of SBC and organizer of the event, explained that the health principles will be introduced incrementally, and those who will be introducing them as well as those receiving the information will work to adopt them as a part of their lifestyle. Therefore, if during the first week someone is challenged to drink eight glasses of water daily for 7 days, then at the commencement of the second week, the person would be challenged to add eating more vegetables to the newly acquired habit of drinking eight glasses of water every day.

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Pastor Peter Kerr, executive secretary of ATCU, represented the union’s administration at the seminar and indicated that the program had the full support of the union president, Pastor Leonard Johnson as well as the other administrators. He further expressed excitement at seeing so many health professionals and laypersons from SBC enthused about sharing the health message. “This conference is rich in talent and resources in the field of Health Ministries,” said Pastor Kerr who recognized a number of nurses, medical doctors, and professional nutritionists participating in the training.

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Mrs. Belkis Archbold, health ministries director of the Inter-American Division of Seventh-day Adventists, made a presentation on the impact that the “I Want to Live Healthy” initiative has had in countries around the world, particularly Mexico. “As a result of the program, schools have removed soda machines from their campuses and the Ministry of Health in Mexico has asked for the program to be introduced in the public schools around the country,” expressed Mrs. Archbold.

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Participants were trained on how to introduce the health principles and were implored to first be an example by practicing the health principles that they will be presenting to the people in the community. As a part of the training, Mrs. Archbold taught participants how to promote what she referred to as the four Pillars of Health and Reformation: Pleading in Prayer, Prevention of Illnesses, Practice the Health Principles Learnt, and Proclaim that the Healer and Master Physician is Jesus.

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At the end of the Train the Trainer Seminar, over thirty-five persons received certificates and expressed enthusiasm for carrying forward the “I Want to Live Healthy” initiative throughout SBC.

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8 Weeks to Wellness Program Goes to Abaco

8 Weeks to Wellness Program Goes to Abaco Patrick Tyrill, district pastor, Abaco
During the week of October 2
to 6, the Health Ministries Department of the North Bahamas Conference hosted the initial phase of the “8 Weeks to Wellness Program” on the Island of Abaco. The theme for the event was “Rebuilding the Temple.” Approximately 170 persons participated and 132 individuals registered to complete the entire eight weeks. Participants came from all across the island of Abaco and included pastors from various denominations and owners and managers of different companies.
The team which comprised of two nutritionists, Dr. Idamae Hanna and Dr. Alvira Higgs, and renowned urologist Dr. Joseph Evans, was very influential and captivating in their presentations as persons listened to the guidelines and received information that could help them lead healthier lives. In addition several medical practioners from the local clinic helped out with the screening and registration process.
The health team was able to visit the Central Abaco Primary School where they showed the children how to choose healthier foods. They also appeared on the Bahamas Christian Network (BCN) and were able to share the benefits of the health program. The presenters focused on how persons can manage their cholesterol and weight, and control high blood pressure by adjusting their diet and keeping active.
Several health education classes were held along with various seminars which promoted healthy lifestyles. Participants received handouts, magazines and books, while those who registered were screened and received pedometers. Drs. Hanna and Higgs evaluated the findings and were able to instruct about managing diabetes.
A special seminar was conducted by Dr. Evans on cancer awareness. He shared many tips on how to prevent cancer and how to bring it in remission. He quoted from his experiences and showed how people, by making simple changes, could fight cancer. On Saturday night a cooking class was conducted for the purpose of introducing simple foods that were nutritious yet healthy. Recipes were shared and the audience was fully engaged as they took notes and observed how to prepare the different meals. At the end of the cooking class persons were able to taste the different dishes and everyone concluded that they were all delicious. They also expressed joy in knowing that one could focus on health without sacrificing taste. All the participants received copies of the menus and most have already began preparing these dishes for their families.
During the event, eight booths were set up, with each, focusing on one of the eight laws of health. The people were divided in groups and were able to move to each booth where they received lectures on the importance of each law. Additional reading material was also given including a copy of the book, “Finding Peace Within.” Local government officials were present and also the BCN, the local television station, radio Abaco, and the Abaconian newspaper. The health committee for Abaco has already met and will be making preparations to host another health event in the near future.
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