October 28, 2014

Adventist News in Brief

, news editor, Adventist

Madagascar: ADRA, USAID Team Up

ADRA, the Adventist relief agency, is
partnering with the U.S. government's USAID in a $75 million initiative to improve health and
nutrition in Madagascar.

Credit: ADRA International

The five-year program titled
Asotry—which means “harvest” in the local Malagasy language—will directly
benefit 264,380 men, women and children, ADRA said.

Tackling high rates of malnutrition
and growth stunting in children under 5, ADRA will work to deliver education
and promotion regarding maternal health, breastfeeding, caring for common
illnesses, sanitation and hygiene.

Additionally, farmers will receive
technical assistance to sustainably increase crop yields and sales of products.
Farmer Field Schools will introduce farmers to agricultural innovations,
including drought-resistant seeds, soil management techniques and pest control.

This partnership with USAID follows a
long list of successful ADRA projects in Madagascar, many of which were
implemented with the help of USAID, said Imad Madanat, ADRA International’s
vice president of programs.

“We value our partnership with
USAID,” Madanat said. “It has enabled us to deliver high impact interventions
and foster positive change around the world.”

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<strong>SOFIA SERMON:</strong> Vadim Butov speaking at an evangelistic series in Sofia, Bulgaria. At his side is an interpreter. Credit: EUD

Bulgaria: 50 Requests for Baptism

Two simultaneous
evangelistic series held in Bulgaria’s capital, Sofia, have resulted in more
than 50 requests for baptism.

meetings—one in downtown Sofia and the other in the city’s Roma district—were
conducted on Sept. 28-Oct. 11 under the world church’s Mission to the Cities
initiative to share Jesus in the world’s largest cities.

Butov, a Russian-Australian national and senior pastor at the Avondale Church
in Australia, spoke to about 430 people nightly, 140 of whom got Bibles as gifts
after eight visits. Attendees also received free massage, blood pressure tests,
tea and cookies, and sharing books.

At the end
of the series, 50 people enrolled for Bible studies, and 36 are preparing for

As Butov
preached, Craig Young, head elder at the Avondale Church, spoke to a crowd of
80 to 130 people nightly in a tent in the Roma district. A tent was used
because no suitably large hall could be found. Ninety-six attendees received a
Bible for coming for eight nights in a row, and 19 requested baptism.

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CHRISTMAS SPECIAL: A teaser video of the "Peace on Earth" Christmas program being produced by Voice of Prophecy for ABC television.

U.S.: Adventists on ABC TV

Teams from U.S. television network ABC and the Voice of
Prophecy descended on the Spencerville Adventist Church in Silver Spring,
Maryland, on a recent evening to record a special Christmas program that will
be broadcast across the United States on Christmas Eve, Dec. 24.

The television program, directed and produced by the Voice
of Prophecy, an Adventist media ministry, has the theme “Peace on Earth” and features
a message by Voice of Prophecy speaker and director Shawn Boonstra, the North
American Division said.

“The gift of peace is the very best gift that we can share
with our friends and family this year,” the division said in a statement.

Music is performed by the King's Heralds Quartet;
international vocalist Christine Wollmann, and Spencerville Adventist Academy's
Adventist Children's Choir under the direction of Jane Lanning.

Broadcast times for the annual Christmas program are to be
listed on ABC television’s website in November.

<strong>CAMPUS SCENE</strong> The library building at River Plate Adventist University in Argentina. Credit: Wikicommons

Argentina: ‘Healthy University’ Awarded

River Plate Adventist University, a Seventh-day Adventist school
in Entre Ríos, Argentina, has been awarded a state certification as the
country’s first “healthy university.”

The award recognizes the efforts of the university’s health-care
graduates to encourage healthy lifestyles in the region and beyond.

“This is a very important
moment being the first university in the country to be awarded this
recognition,” Hugo Cettour, the top health official for the Province of Entre Ríos,
said at a ceremony on Oct. 16.

He added: “What we are about to do here is just a symbol because
we know that the work you accomplish in this school is well beyond any

University leaders said a landmark had been reached in the
school’s 116-year-old history but also spoke of greater responsibility.

“This new status provides us with a higher benchmark that we will
strive to keep,” said academic vice president Víctor Armenteros.

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$10 Million Hospital Deal

Adventist Health/Central
Valley Network is teaming up with another nonprofit organization to open a $10
million medical plaza in Fowler, California.

The 50-50 partnership
combines Children’s
Hospital Central California’s expertise
in pediatric care with Adventist Health’s expertise in rural and adult health
care to benefit the region’s families by improving access to high-quality care,
the two organizations
said in a statement.

“We’re very grateful
for this partnership to benefit our families,” said Wayne Ferch, president and
CEO of Adventist Health/Central Valley Network. “It will also support the
growth of our Selma and Reedley hospitals.”

The network operates
medical centers in Hanford, Selma, and Reedley in addition to 31 Community Care
clinics in 21 towns and other services.

“Children are
healthier when they have easy access to their care providers,” added Todd
Suntrapak, president and CEO of Children’s Hospital Central California, one of
the largest children’s hospitals in the U.S., with 356 licensed beds and a
medical staff of more than 550 physicians.

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,<strong>SABBATH LESSON:</strong> Chaplain Edgardo Rivas, right, and Suprobo Mahesa, a signal support officer, participating in a Sabbath school lesson during a Seventh-day Adventist service at Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan, on Oct. 11. Credit: Captain Adan Cazarez, 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade / U.S. Army

Afghanistan: Keeping the Sabbath

Adventist chaplain serving in Afghanistan has been featured in an article
published by the U.S. Defense Department.

chaplain, Captain Edgardo Rivas, provides spiritual guidance during the week
and conducts a Seventh-day Adventist worship service to civilian and military
personnel every Sabbath morning at Bagram Air Field, said the article published
by DVIDS, a media arm of the Defense Department.

Rivas, who
is on his second tour of Afghanistan, said a highlight of his job was when a soldier,
a former Adventist, embarked on a search for God’s will after a Sabbath service.

“After the
service, he approached me and told me that it was time for him to come back to
God,” he said. “Little by little God is doing His work, regardless where you

John Biama,
a military information technology specialist and a native of Sudan, said he was
surprised to learn that an Army chaplain was conducting an Adventist service.
As a church member for 19 years, he hasn’t missed a service.

“It feels good to take time out of our busy
work week to observe the Sabbath,” he said.

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