May 2, 2018

Romania’s Minister of Health Visits Adventist European Health Conference

Corrado Cozzi, Inter-European Division News & Adventist Review

Romania’s Minister of Health Sorina Pintea recently visited the Second European Health Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, which took place in Bucharest, Romania, from April 17-21, 2018. The “Reversing Diseases with Lifestyle Medicine” event gathered hundreds of Adventist health practitioners from the Inter-European Division (EUD) region and beyond, to learn how to “bring health, healing, and hope” to Europe, according to organizers.

Addressing the event attendees, Pintea celebrated the Adventist Church advocacy for a healthy lifestyle.

“Seeing this large number of Adventist health professionals, I am impressed and more excited than I expected,” she said. “I am pleased with what I have learned about Seventh-day Adventists and their lifestyle. I also like the topic of the conference, as we cannot be healthy unless we first adopt a healthy lifestyle.”

Church Ready and Available

Valérie Dufour, EUD director of Health Ministries, said the Adventist Church is ready and available to help relieve the burden of chronic diseases. Medical professionals and health institutions are ready too, she added, as they strive to follow the example modeled by Jesus.

“Following in the footsteps of Jesus,” Dufour said, “we see our calling as a Church to serve those around us — the sick, the discouraged, the burdened, and those who need encouragement, support, and healing.”

It is the reason, she said, that they put the conference together, to expose Adventist medical professionals, pastors, and members to the latest scientific evidence regarding the reversal of chronic diseases. “We have been bringing experts from around the world to learn how to reverse conditions such as cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, and hypertension, or mental health conditions such as depression,” she said.

Official Thanks

In the end, Sorina Pintea thanked the Seventh-Day Adventist Church for caring for people both physically and spiritually. “I wish you success in this important endeavor,” she said.

Adventist Church president in Romania Ștefan Tomoiagă thanked the 700 health ambassadors that gathered in Bucharest and celebrated the partnership opportunities provided by the Bucharest event. “Perhaps the greatest blessing is the networking opportunities between local churches and the health department,” he said. “It is something that transforms each church into a place where people find help and refuge and an island of health in every town or village where one may find Adventist believers.”

After Pintea’s speech, she stopped by several booths in the exhibition area, including the ones sponsored by an Adventist hospital and another one belonging to the Special Needs Ministries.

“We had the opportunity to talk to Minister Pintea about our plan to build an oncological hospital in Târgu Mureș, a hospital that would bring a new and holistic approach in treating this type of illness,” said the Adventist hospital representative Beniamin Ghegoiu. And he added, “Although the discussions were more on technical and managerial issues, we highlighted the role of preventive education and the importance of choosing a healthy lifestyle.”

Special Needs Ministries representative Sophia Nicholls said it was an honor to share with Minister Pintea about the Special Needs Ministries of the Adventist Church. “The minister was sensitive to the work of the Church,” she said. “I found it a privilege to share my personal life story of having a child with a disability and how this experience led me to be a part of this ministry.”

Nicholls said her interactions with Pintea were noteworthy. “[Getting acquainted with] our work… in education, awareness, inclusion, and belonging was received with much enthusiasm and gratitude,” she said.