CELEBRATIONS—150 years of health


Not only does 2013 mark 150 years since the official organisation of our Church, but it also marks 150 years since Ellen White’s Ostego (Michigan) vision which set the course for our Church’s emphasis on health. It was the basis for the medical missionary model for sharing our health message with others. From small churches impacting local communities to universities whose influence circles the world, from remote bush clinics to large regional hospitals, from healthy food expos to health food companies, our Church sees health as a vital aspect of its global mission.

This calls for CELEBRATIONS.

The longer you live the healthier you have been. If you want to postpone your funeral start your CELEBRATIONS today.

Here at Adventist Health (South Pacific) we are designating CELEBRATIONS as the emphasis for our Adventist Health Week (May 18–25).


Good health is about building on what we have inherited by making sound, healthy choices. We choose how we live, the risks we take and the balance we seek in our lives. Choose wisely, it will pay great health dividends.


Prolonged sitting is becoming the enemy of good health. Our bodies, and particularly our muscles, are designed for movement. We need to put activity back in if we are not getting it as part of our normal day. There are numerous health benefits from increasing physical activity.


Adequate hydration is another vital part of staying healthy. We need to drink lots of clean water to maintain our 70 per cent by weight water levels. Your body is a water cooled machine. It is not a coffee or alcohol cooled mechanism. Next to air, water is the most vital element needed for survival.


Good health requires a supportive environment. True, there are environmental risks to be avoided but there are also environmental benefits to be enjoyed. While we can all do our little bit to help the global environment, we should also consider what we can do to improve our personal environment.


Belief or faith in a loving God brings improvements in health and life satisfaction. Spiritual people have fewer problems with alcohol and drugs and are better placed to deal with emotional health and relational challenges. New research is now demonstrating the advantages of a life of faith.


The importance of adequate sleep and sufficient times of rest are increasingly demonstrated by research studies. The opposite of being stressed is being rested and relaxed. God set aside one day of rest and spiritual renewal. We need this rest to restore our fatigued bodies, our tired minds and to lift our spirits.


Breathing in fresh air fills the lungs which then oxygenates our blood, which in turn supplies oxygen to the cells in our bodies. It is this process that delivers efficient cell metabolism and the transfer of energy. Polluted air is to be avoided. We need oxygen for life and pure, fresh air for optimum health.


Two of the biggest global and personal health challenges today are drinking alcohol and smoking tobacco. Temperance may be an old-fashioned word but in today’s society it’s a much-needed virtue. True temperance involves avoiding everything that is harmful and to use in moderation that which is healthful.


In a life lived with integrity, decisions and actions are based upon ethical, moral standards and virtues. There is also honesty along with a harmony between what we say and what we do. This may also involve a difficult balance between what is good for a community as well as for the individual.


When life is hard and it all seems way too difficult, it’s optimism and hope that can carry us forward. Research has shown that these are two indispensable ingredients for a full, healthy and happy life. An optimistic outlook provides personal resilience which is health protective.


We are living in a fast-food age with so many people consuming highly packaged and highly processed foods that are high in sugar, salt and saturated fats. These poor quality foods are driving the global epidemic of obesity, diabetes, vascular diseases and cancers. Food is the fuel for our bodies. The best foods are fresh or cooked fruits, vegetables, grains and nuts. 


We now know that a social network of friends who support us is a vital factor in individual health, as well as for the health of our communities. We are social by nature and we need to love and feel loved. One of the highest expressions of this is in service to others. This is a key part of high-level wellness. It is a reaching out to others, like God reached out to us.


God wants us to be healthy and happy. Christ demonstrated this concern in His ministry. Much of His time was spent addressing the health needs of His community. He provided healing and health when He came in contact with those who were sick and suffering.

The longer you live the healthier you have been. If you want to postpone your funeral start your CELEBRATIONS today. “Beloved, I wish above all things that you may prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers” (3 John 1:2).    

Kevin Price is director of Adventist Health for the South Pacific Division.

The General Conference’s Health Ministries Department has produced a book and a health program: CELEBRATIONS. If you would like to obtain a copy of the book and CD contact your local Adventist Health director. 
CELEBRATIONS is a great way to share our health message with family, friends or your community.