Remembering an Inspiring Health Leader

Articles March 29, 2024

Source: The Health Connection Newsletter | 1st Quarter 2024

Pastor Abe Carpena, “The Lion of the Philippines!” was a tireless, motivated, energetic health leader who lived life to the full, to the glory and honor of his best friend, Jesus. He seized every opportunity to share the good news of Jesus, optimal health, and salvation. He not only spoke about healthy lifestyle, he also modeled healthy living.

Pastor Carpena worked with Adventist churches and their communities throughout the Southern Asia Pacific Division – from hospitals to health expos, nutrition to addiction prevention, and much more. In 2006, he helped plan and execute the first regional International Commission for the Prevention of Alcohol Dependency (ICPA) convention in Manila, drawing attendees from around the world and neighboring divisions.

Because he mentored an excellent succes- sor, and with God’s blessings, the ICPA remains strong in the Division even today. He made friends of national entities such as the Dangerous Drugs Board and brokered partnerships with barangays and local municipalities to promote health in large segments of the populations of many countries.

He loved his family and cared tirelessly for his beloved wife, Nen, through her final illness. He adored his children, who, in turn, loved and cherished him. He walked and talked with Jesus and was often heard singing his favorite hymn, “Jesus Is All the World to Me” (title of the hymn per www.sdahym- What an impression he made on my life as my friend, mentor, and colleague. The Seventh-day Adventist World Church benefited from his work and leader- ship in Health Ministry. I knew and experi- enced this influence first-hand from the powerfully positive influence he had on my own life.

Following a protracted illness, borne so bravely, Pastor Carpena now rests awaiting the call of Jesus when he and Nen will rise to meet the One for whom they waited so faithfully. What a reunion that will be. May the circle be unbroken, and may none of us who served, worked, ministered, and labored together be missing on that great day when Christ returns! Even so, come Lord Jesus! Maranatha.