A few months ago Alex Bryant, our North American Division secretary, was a guest on the Glenn Beck Nationwide radio program. He was invited on the show because Dr. Ben Carson had been a guest, and Glenn Beck perceived that Carson was a deeply spiritual man and wanted to know about his church.

It was interesting to hear the host and his sidekicks discussing the Seventh-day Adventist Church before Alex came on the air. They had heard of it, but really knew very little about it. One of Beck’s cohosts said he thought Adventists were vegetarians. Beck wanted to question Alex about whether or not the church believed we were in the “last days.”

Alex did very well representing our church. He boldly spoke of our church’s belief that we indeed are living in the final days of this broken world. He went on to talk about our humanitarian efforts in North America and around the world, as well as our educational work.

One of the highlights was when he talked about our health message. Alex confirmed that we promote both a vegetarian and vegan diet to care for our bodies. He went on to discuss our health outreach, including the Best Pathways To Health event that took place in San Antonio last summer. This amazing event, sponsored by Adventist-laymen’s Services and Industries, provided over 6,000 people with free dental, vision, and a variety of other health services over a three-day period.

Bringing it home

Here in Mid-America, much is happening in the area of health ministries. We are hosting CHIP programs, vegetarian cooking schools, and diabetes health education and wellness programs, just to name a few.

In addition, we are blessed to have a strong presence of the Adventist Health System with hospitals in Shawnee, Kansas and Denver, Parker, Castle Rock, Littleton and Louisville, Colorado. They are extremely interested in the health of their communities and through the CREATION Health program are making a positive impact in people’s lives.

How is your church using our health message to serve your community? This “right arm of the gospel” has been part of who we are from the beginning of our church’s history. Now, more than ever, people everywhere need to hear and experience the joy that comes from our health message.

The January 2016 print edition of OUTLOOK is devoted to reporting on what is happening and inspiring you to think about what more could be happening in our territory for health ministries. While the North American Division’s goal of each Adventist church becoming “a center for health, healing and wholeness in the community” sets a high bar, their Department of Health Ministries serves as a resource center for information and counsel on developing health and temperance programs.

Thank you to all who have provided leadership to this important ministry. Let’s all work together to make an impact in our communities for Christ.