6th October 2017

Health is wealth (Wikipedia). 

Ellen White's assertion is that ‘Health Ministry is the right arm of the Gospel. It is necessary for the advancement of the cause of God, as through it men and women are led to see the importance of the right habits of living, the saving power of the truth to be made known’. (Testimonies, volume 7, page 59)

Ellen White referred to Matthew 8:17 and states: ‘Jesus came to this world as the unwearied servant of human needs. He took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses that He minister every need of humanity’. ‘Jesus came to remove the burden of diseases, wretchedness and sins. It was His mission to bring complete restoration to men and women. He came to give health, peace and perfection of character’. (Ellen G, White, Ministry of Healing, p17). 

The Health Expo last July was to provide basic information and advice on health, wellbeing and lifestyle to the visitors. Those with potential serious conditions were to be advised to see their doctor.

It is a great event for the Church to raise its profile, make an initial first contact with the wider local community by the consideration of the value of life and health.

The health Expo took place in one of the busiest street of Glasgow. 

Such was the frenetic interest level at the Health Expo held over two days on the 9th and 10th of July in the city centre, that one could be forgiven for thinking that a VIP had just arrived in the city. 

Themed "Stay Fit and Stay Focused", Glasgow Seventh-day Adventist church drew on the success of previous Health Expos in the Scottish mission, including Glasgow and Paisley with the support of the Glasgow City Council to deliver an important health service input to the community.

As part of the preparation for the Expo, the Scottish Mission Health Ministries and the Community Services departments, led by Dr Claudette Comerasamy and John Wilby respectively, spearheaded the logistics preparation and offered support and training for volunteers in the weeks leading up to the Expo. At 7am on Sunday 9th July, equipped with banners, health equipment, bottles of water, boxes of fruit, various simple leaflets on healthy living / healthy life style, and between 20 - 30 volunteers with a great deal of training, the team ventured into Argyll Street Glasgow to set up and prepare for the 10am commencement of the health expo.

Within minutes of the marquee and banners being erected, people already starting to show interest, and a queue began to build. There were some delay in the power generator service which delayed the team for the opening of the service. The visitors were asked to return a bit later than 10 am. To their amazement, in less than an hour more people began to queue in order to check of their health age. The volunteers were enthusiastic and worked tirelessly up to 4pm. The unrelenting queue resulted in a steady flow of over 200 people discovering their health age. 

The volunteers of health professionals, other professionals and students, impressed throughout the day with their professionalism, courtesy and attention to details, ensuring a rotation with military precision to avoid overwhelming any of the stations. Children were also given the opportunity to contribute as they gave fruits and water out to the visitors. They were under supervision by the adults at all times and contributed enthusiastically.

The following day replicated the first day in almost all areas, with the exception of the delayed power generator. A security guard was stationed overnight to ensure the safety of all equipment, hence, a prompt start on day two. Over the course of two days, more than 400 people had their health age assessed by the Glasgow church volunteers, with many giving their contact details for further follow up programme of the Glasgow church Health Club. Throughout the Expo, many people expressed their gratitude for what the church was doing for the community, with one candidate expressing that it is "good that the church is still relevant in today's world". There are members of the community who have expressed interest to keep contact with the team. These words echoed what John Wilby, Scottish Mission Community Services sponsor said at a previous Health Expo: "Extending Christ's healing ministry to our communities in this way encourages changes in lifestyle. It also creates an awareness, often for the first time, of the existence of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and, what Ellen White called, 'the right arm of its message'."

Plans to follow the visitors and provide follow up activities for them have started and are being developed further. 

[Dr Claudette Comerasamy, Benjamin Bakina]


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