Adventists Make Positive Impact with Lifestyle Expo
Written by: Phillip E. L. Castell, Director, Communication, Public Affairs & Religious Liberty | Friday, November 30, 2018
The usually quiet St. William Grant Park situated in the heart of Downtown Kingston, came to life when hundreds of people in the city’s capital turned out to benefit from an array of health services courtesy of a Lifestyle Expo, staged by the Seventh-day Adventist Church (SDA) in East Jamaica Conference.
From as early as 10:00 am on November 22, 2018, lines were formed as people positioned themselves to be among the first to be seen by health professionals, who were on spot. The health services were provided for the citizens as part of the church’s new thrust to make a difference in the lives of people through an initiative dubbed “Wholistic Health through Personal and National Transformation.”
Pastor Wadsworth McAnuff, leader of zone one and the man with oversight responsibilities for the eight pastoral districts that came together to stage the event, said they thought it would be a good idea to join the wholistic health focus of the SDA church in Jamaica especially in the busy Downtown area of Kingston.
“We wanted to make an impact and we thought that the best place to do it would be Downtown where we have a number of communities with people around who need to have access to health services, but don’t have the money for it,” McAnuff said.
“We know that a number of poor people live in these communities and so we decided that one of the best ways to help them is to bring the health message to them,” he added.
“We want them to know that the Seventh-day Adventist Church does not only care about their soul salvation but also about their physical health.”
From the increased pedestrian traffic in the park and the buzz of people including children which flowed in and out of the booths that housed various health displays, it was evident that something great was happening.
Health Ministries Director of the Conference, Pastor Leonard Steele estimated that between eight hundred to one thousand persons had passed through the Lifestyle Expo during the period with over four hundred benefitting directly from the health checks including blood pressure, blood cholesterol, blood glucose, as well as vision tests using specialized eye testing machines.
Three medical doctors were on hand and they were given good support from the Adventist Health Volunteer Team members who were easily recognizable in their uniforms.
Steele was pleased with how the day turned out and was confident that a positive impact had been made for health by the church based on feedback.
“Today was tremendous and based on the response from the people they enjoyed it, welcomed it and they want us to come back,” said a jubilant Pastor Steele who indicated that the church would be doing another event like this in another part of the city early next year.
“I believe we have done tremendous work here and the Seventh-day Adventist Church is indeed making an impact on the lives of the community,” Steele said.
He noted that the people were happy with the fact that they were able to get access to health services and information which was provided free of cost except for a few of the medical tests which attracted minimal contribution.
The importance of good health practices on the quality of life was shared in lectures and practical demonstrations. Healthy food preparations and juices were on display and even given away as samples.
Children had access to the dentist via the mobile dental clinic which also tended to a few seniors who needed assistance and representatives from Colgate came and spoke with the children, giving them advice on the best way to brush and care for their teeth.
Patrons were invited to get physical, engaging in exercise workouts which took center stage. People of various ages worked up a sweat as they were taken through their paces by energetic exercise instructors.
The church districts in zone one, organized booths to display the letters of the acronym “CELEBRATIONS”, the current focus of the Adventist World Church Health Ministries. It represents Choices, Exercise, Liquids, Environment, Belief, Rest, Air, Temperance, Integrity, Optimism of Hope, Nutrition and Social Support and Service.
Pastor of the Rollington Town SDA Church, Carl Honeyghan, in his booth, promoted the importance of fresh air and rest to good health. He called people’s attention to the importance of getting enough sleep during the nights and that it was important to take vacation when it became due. The pastor also used the opportunity to point out that God in his wisdom made one to rest from work which he called the Sabbath.
The Lifestyle Health Expo is one of many initiatives organized by the Seventh-day Adventist Church in East Jamaica Conference to impact the lives of people through the health ministry’s department of the church.