The Seventh-day Adventist Church in Chiapas, Mexico, recently began the first of a series of 13-hour online programs focused on health. The initiative seeks to promote a healthy lifestyle among its thousands of church members and their friends. Coined as the I Want to Live Healthy Marathon, the event delved into a variety of healthy practices for all ages and was carried through the church’s official social media platforms.
“It is evident that in the times we are living, health has turned into a very special subject of interest, with most people looking to improve their immune system to be better protected during the present pandemic,” Faustino de los Santos, health ministries director for the Adventist Church in Chiapas, said. “The church, with its unique health message, drives us to do more for members and the public in general with relevant health topics for today.”
The program is not only an effort led by the health ministries department but involves all the departments and ministries of the church, he said.
From 6:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m., the monthly event will offer 12 programs focused on physical, mental, social, and spiritual health as a wholistic health approach, including training for health professionals, medical orientation, programs for children, financial and family advice, exercise routines, healthy recipes, and more.
Collaboration with Regional Media Centers
The program is produced in nine different media studios across the region’s conferences and mission fields and Linda Vista University under the direction of the Hope Media Chiapas center.
One of the most popular segments of the premier marathon was the “I Want to Live Healthy: Open Clinic,” where viewers called during the livestream with their medical questions and submitted questions through chat messages, de los Santos said. Another segment called “Health in Action” was focused on offering prevention and health tips for young people through youth ministries leaders.
For Carlos Ruiz, associate secretary and producer of the “Exercise” segment, the health marathon has been a program to invest in, learn about, and develop audiovisual productions in each local field and a grand opportunity to involve creative young people and communication professionals as part of blessing the community.
Plans to Expand the Program
Church leaders reported that dozens of calls came in during the first livestream requesting health courses, medical guidance, and information on Adventist health publications.
The first episode of the I Want to Live Healthy Marathon drew the attention of church leaders across North, Central, Inter-Oceanic, and Southeast Mexico, Navarro said. “We are in talks right now to do a joint venture among the five unions with this health marathon beginning in May,” he said.
The church will continue to produce the 13-hour-program marathon on the first Sunday of every month.
Chiapas Mexican Union is one of five major church territories in Mexico, with more than 267,000 Seventh-day Adventists in 3,230 churches and congregations.