Over 300 residents of the Dutch Quarter and surrounding communities of St. Maarten were treated to a day of health and wellness rejuvenation on Sabbath, May 13, 2017. The free, deluxe, services were offered by a team of health professionals from the Ephesus Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) Church and a new group of believers, born from the recently concluded Good News Gospel Explosion Evangelistic Series.
United by the theme, Love in Action – Promoting Health & Wellness in the Church and Community, the SDA Church offered a memorable experience which left residents anticipating the next soul-stirring ministry package.
Community wholeness and health have been emphasized at the Ephesus SDA Church since it was organized and implementation is fully embraced by leaders. This congregation has offered services such as free diabetes checks in the past and this time, elected to offer an encompassing array of wellness assessments to the community. In addition to health evaluation, informative literature and “effectual, fervent prayer” sessions, the Church shared food baskets, loaves of bread, soup and breakfast for residents housed in temporary shelters.
The team of health professionals was led by Dr. Ruth Douglass, Health Ministries Director of the North Caribbean Conference. Dr. Douglass indicated that the SDA Health Ministries Team partners with congregations to provide guidance to residents, “I believe that knowledge is power and current information about medical care is important to the health of the whole community. How can you work for God if you aren’t physically healthy? Being located in such a large community, there are numerous people who need to be informed about their health [status] and have access to [care]. It is an imperative. That is why we have taken it upon ourselves, as a congregation, to make health ministry one of our greatest and most important initiatives beyond evangelism.” Her remarks concluded with the importance of a healthy lifestyle and that consciously making the decision to adopt one is a necessary first step toward improved health and wellbeing.
The active SDA Church on St. Maarten is served by a pastoral staff of five dedicated workers; operates an accredited institution for students in elementary/ primary school; and, is engaged in neighborhood ministry to three language groups (French, English, and Spanish) coordinated by the North Caribbean Conference.