April 5, 2024

Adventist Church in Malaysia Kicks Off 2024 with Two Major Health Initiatives

The Grace of Aging and Heal Your Lifestyle suggest steps toward a full life, leaders said.

Hazel Wanda Ginajil, Malaysia Union Mission Communication Department
Two health initiatives launched in 2024 are helping Seventh-day Adventist church workers in Malaysia seek better health and connect with the community. [Photo: Malaysia Union Mission]

The Health Ministries Department of the Malaysia Union Mission of the Seventh-day Adventist Church (MAUM) kicked off 2024 with a focus on two major health initiatives: The Grace of Aging, and Heal Your Lifestyle.

The Grace of Aging

A collaborative endeavor between the Health Ministries Department and Adventist Possibility Ministries, The Grace of Aging is tailored primarily for the aging members of the community. MAUM health ministries director Jane Yap underscored Malaysia’s demographic transition toward an aging population during her program introduction.

Recent studies indicate that Malaysia’s population of individuals aged 60 and above stands at approximately 2.3 million. This data underscores the aging trend within the country and emphasizes the urgent need for society to actively contribute to the creation of a conducive environment for the elderly to age gracefully, despite the inherent challenges they may encounter, health ministries leaders said.

One way that the Adventist Church has responded to this issue is by crafting a comprehensive program aimed at assisting elders. This multifaceted program addresses various aspects, including physical, social, financial, mental, emotional, and spiritual preparations.

The Grace of Aging program is a hybrid event that has been taking place at Petaling Jaya Chinese Seventh-day Adventist Church. This program has also been running via Zoom and is livestreamed on the MAUM and Eight Treasure Facebook pages. The program is made available in English, Chinese, and Bahasa Malaysia. It started in February and runs every Saturday (Sabbath) afternoon until May 18.

Some of the speakers of The Grace of Aging include Dicky Ng, a Penang Adventist Hospital wellness doctor, and Shee Soon Chiew, a psychologist and educator. By the end of the program, the organizers intend to help members form a senior citizens club in their local churches.

Heal Your Lifestyle

The second program is a spin-off of last year’s Heal Your Lifestyle series. This program takes participants on a two-week journey to discover how to restore their physical bodies through a series of webinars and practical dietary modifications. It helps participants to try and break the monotony of daily life by making intentional decisions to establish healthy habits based on the three pillars of lifestyle medicine: food, exercise, and mental health.

Jane Yap developed the 14-day program, which was introduced on March 22, with the goal of kickstarting good behavior, developing a healthy lifestyle, and improving one’s life while helping others to better theirs.

A total of 100 people from Peninsular Malaysia, Sarawak, Sabah, and the Adventist headquarters have registered. Juice fasting is a part of the program’s first three days, and then complete, plant-based meals follow. Participants are organized into groups to track their travels. Each group has a map that depicts the daily mileage. The group that covers the farthest distance will be rewarded.

“From these programs catered to our church members, it is my hope that they will use it to reach out to their friends and community ... and that others will get to know Christ,” Yap said.

The original version of this story was posted on the Malaysia Union Mission news site.