February 19, 2024

South American Health-care Providers Trained in Natural Medicine

Participants included Adventist practitioners from Peru, Uruguay, and Chile.

Angela Arias, South American Division, and Adventist Review
Health-care practitioners attend a Life Medics training event to better serve the Lord through healthy lifestyle medicine. [Photo: Life Medics]

From January 29 to February 2, Los Aromos Wellness Center in Pinto, Ñuble Region, Chile, hosted a Life Medics event. Sponsored by the Seventh-day Adventist Church, this missionary medical training school session sought to prepare and motivate a generation of health professionals committed to God’s call, and informed by Christ’s culture, to healthy lifestyle medicine.

“We are together thanks to Life Medics ministry, which is a school, a space, a family that shares everything we know from the missionary medical work,” said Marcos SaintPere, coordinator of “medicine as a lifestyle” at the Good Hope Clinic in Lima, Peru. The goal is “that this knowledge may stay with the students and health professionals in such a practical way that when they meet their patients, they might share Christ, through a prescription, through a smile, through an appointment.”

A Guest from the Inter-European Division

On this special occasion, participants enjoyed the visit of Viriato Ferreira, Health Ministries director at the Inter-European Division of the Adventist Church and director of the Life and Health Center in Portugal. Ferreira said he always enjoys encouraging and promoting health as a preaching tool and loves emphasizing natural medicine.

“I’m here because I believe in this project. We have this course to encourage and help health students to be missionaries, so that they can share not only a message of physical and spiritual and emotional health, but also teach a healthy lifestyle,” Ferreira said in an interview with the Nuevo Tiempo Chile TV network. “We want to help them to be true doctors, psychologists, like Jesus.”

Inspiring Workshops and Classes

To achieve this goal through a comprehensive, preventive approach, organizers sought to provide participants with physical, mental, and spiritual tools through a series of workshops.

“We offered hands-on workshops,” Los Aromos Wellness Center director Ilse Wandersleben said. “One dealt with organic agriculture, another one with natural remedies, and still others focused on vegetarian cooking, hydrotherapy, and wholewheat baking.”

Additional classes included agricultural tips and tools, such as one on how to make compost, making fertilizer out of organic waste, and setting up a homemade fireplace whose heat helps develop the compost.

The healthy cooking workshop allowed participants to learn how some food preparation contributes to better health. “This is culinary medicine,” said chef Daniel Fernández, who facilitated the hands-on experience. “We seek to teach how to heal our bodies and prevent disease. Everyone is doing their part so the foods we prepare are tasty and at the same time give glory to God.”

Feedback from Participants

Organizers and participants agreed that the event empowered health-care practitioners to see their patients in a more wholistic way, by seeking ways to heal them through natural remedies and using all the resources that God has provided.

“We are happy to be here and recommend every Adventist health-care practitioner to complete training in Adventist healthy lifestyle medicine,” said Elsa Stevens, a nurse who is a member of Adventist Health Professionals Chile (APROAS).

Participant Miguel Morales agreed.

“As physicians, sometimes we are detached from a healthy lifestyle, because even our work often even goes against what’s healthy,” he explained. “This is the reason I recommend this activity, because it allows us to resort to an increasing number of tools. Just the fact of being here is a unique experience.”The original version of this story was posted on the South American Division Spanish-language news site.