June 15, 2019

Adventists Increase Impact on Health With New Medical Transport Vehicles

Uriel Castellanos, Inter-American Division News

The Seventh-day Adventist Church in Chiapas, Mexico highlighted its comprehensive health impact plan with eight brand-new vehicles during a special ceremony held in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas, on June 3, 2019.

The new vans will be used to expand the health and medical missionary work in the eight conferences that comprise the union territory.

“Health is one of the important pillars the church should invest in to be used as a light where it is needed most, as part of fulfilling the mission,” said Ignacio Navarro, president of the Adventist Church in Chiapas. Many marginal communities are in great need of healing and medical services across Chiapas, and the new vehicles will cater to them, he explained.

Local conference administrators, health ministries directors, and Adventist health professionals took part in the inauguration ceremony at the Chiapas Mexican Union’s headquarters office in Tuxtla Gutiérrez.

The first half of the year has seen dozens of health clinics, an amount that has doubled in this “Year of Health” the church is celebrating in Chiapas, church leaders said.

“We saw the great need of special medical transport vehicles and decided to facilitate that ministry to accomplish the scheduled activities throughout the year,” Navarro said.

Faustino De Los Santos, health ministries director for the Adventist Church in Chiapas, said that besides transporting medical staff and medicines during health impact programs, the vans can also be used to transport patients who need specialized medical services at clinics or hospitals.

De Los Santos said that currently, conferences usually hold a medical clinic almost every weekend, and dozens more are scheduled to take place during the rest of the year.

More than 200 Adventist health professionals are currently participating in the health clinics, De Los Santos said. Plans are to involve every health professional across Chiapas in the coming weeks and months, he added.

The health or medical clinics usually include free medical check-ups, minor medical surgeries, minor dental procedures, ultrasound scans, ophthalmology exams, free distribution of eyeglasses, psychological therapy, nutritional advice, healthy lifestyle lectures, cooking classes, and more.

The church in Chiapas has four missionary focal points: evangelism, education, health, and publications. Local leaders say they have seen many benefits from the medical missionary services and have seen the church expand through its health activities, especially in communities where there has been no Adventist presence.

The Chiapas Mexican Union is one of five major church regions in Mexico. More than 246,000 Seventh-day Adventists worship in 3,159 churches and congregations in Chiapas. The church operates 31 primary and secondary schools and a university.

The original version of this story was posted on the Inter-American Division news site.