God has blessed Seventh-day Adventists with a health message that has resulted in better health and longer lives according to Blue Zones research and Adventist Health Studies. CREATION Health is the essence of the Adventist health message, put into a contemporary language and supported by the evidence-based Science.
From 12th to 14th April, church members of the Baltic Union Conference, who were and are interested in the health ministry, came together to learn about CREATION Health, share their experiences when conducting CREATION Health seminars, and to meet the CREATION Health people from the USA: Robyn Edgerton, who is the Directr of Mission Strategy for AdventHealth, and Lynell LaMountain, who is the Health Ministries Director for the Southern Union Conference.
Robyn and her team are contributing to the mission of Adventist health care through the development of tools and resources. She also leads the CREATION Health program, including curriculum development, strategy and implementation. Lynell is also the co-host of Lifestyle Magazine, and before joining the Southern Union Conference in 2014, Lynell was the Senior Manager of CREATION Health at Florida Hospital.
Sometimes people think that in order to live healthily, they have to make big changes in their lives, give up all the enjoyments of life, and it can be discouraging. But it is not so; healthy living does not have to be hard or sad. It can be, and is very rewarding. As Lynell explained, CREATION Health encourages to start with small steps; cannot find time to walk 30 minutes 5 – 7 days a week – start with 5 minutes – when you experience how invigorating it is, you surely want to continue; find it hard to go to bed on time to have 7 – 8 hours sleep – try to go to bed 15 minutes earlier than before; cannot give up sweets – try to add some (more) fruit and vegetables to your diet, etc. Making such small changes is not hard, it is doable, and it is the beginning of a journey towards the healthier and better life; life that God has intended for us.
The participants of the training learned about the essence of CREATION Health; that it is about adding something positive to your life every day by the grace of God. They learned how to encourage participants of CREATION Health seminars to start this exciting, transformational journey, which goal is the life Jesus wants to give us – life to the fullest (John 10:10).
The participants had also time to start planning their own journey; their vision, mission, and goals. After that, all conferences discussed among themselves what would be possible and what they would like to achieve with CREATION Health in their territories.
In their feedback, the participants expressed their gratitude for such an opportunity. Many of them said that they found new inspiration and motivation to do the health ministry. They understood that health ministry is more about connecting with people for leading them to Christ, than giving some information about healthy living. They appreciated the opportunity of working alone on their vision, mission and goals; and then working together with the teams, and plan ahead regarding CREATION Health. They would have liked even more time for group work and a prayer time regarding the plans. For some participants, the wholistic approach of CREATION Health changed the way they saw health ministry. There could have been some exercising together and an opportunity to buy the material, according to some participants. In future trainings, it is important to take these suggestions into account.
Praising God together in songs, led by Mārtiņš and Edija, was very much liked by the participants. It lifted our hearts to God, created this feeling of togetherness, and the confidence that God is able to do His work through us, even in our weaknesses if we dedicate ourselves to Him.
Currently CREATION Health is run in all three conferences. We hope to involve more churches and translate more material to start CREATION Health also for kids, students, and Russian-speaking churches.