Disease, discomfort, disconnection, disparities and death! The COVID-19 Pandemic has shone a discouraging light on all of these issues. The statistics become “old news” – 178,000,000 cases, 3,845,000 deaths, 196 countries, and 2.5 billion doses of vaccines administered globally. The global economy has been devastated impacting mainly communities and populations which are under-resourced and underserved.
During this time, General Conference Adventist Health Ministries (GCAHM) and health ministries departments and initiatives around the world have had the opportunity to share Comprehensive Health Ministry (CHM) on this broken planet. CHM is meeting people’s needs in a practical way by sharing God’s love and compassion (Ministry of Healing p.143). Hospitals, clinics, dispensaries and, importantly, health education initiatives all are vital means of sharing health and wholeness; during the Pandemic, all of these modalities have been deployed to extend the Healing Ministry of Jesus.
It has been humbling and inspiring to work with our global team of dedicated health professionals who give tireless service round the clock. They are heroes, often faced with inadequate supplies of needs as basic as medical oxygen. Administrators, health professionals and hospital support staff have also paid the ultimate price in the service of their fellow human beings and been victims of COVID-19.
Collaborative effort and team work has flourished! GC and GCAHM, have partnered with ADRA and Adventist Health International (AHI) to provide emergency support to many of our health entities around the world. The Chinese Union Mission has provided strong support in finance and in kind. Donations from members around the world have provided much-needed personal protective equipment (PPE), medications and even helped meet payrolls.
ADRA and our hospitals (where vaccines are available) are helping to provide vaccination facilities and vaccines to communities. Much more needs to be done- more supplies of vaccine needed, but also distribution logistics and personnel are essential to ultimately ensure the “shot/s in the arm.” You and I are the Church; let’s advocate for equitable vaccine distribution, let us give of our means and donations (donations.adra.org), volunteer our time and expertise, and make the difference in this crisis. “Night is coming, when no man can work.” John 9:4