News reports from Portugal, the Philippines, Southern Asia and Washington DC:
More than 2,500 Adventists from 10 nations in Europe are coming together this week (29 July to 4 August) for a Pathfinder Camporee in Sesimbra, Portugal. The event was organized by the youth department of the denomination’s Inter-European Division (EUD). The Camporee is a festival, “a lot of fun, joy, activities and games, workshops, worship services as well as many opportunities to meet and exchange with many old and new friends.” There are games that test Pathfinders’ abilities and talents, as well as tours, a bistro with a gift shop, mutual invitations of country delegations, international dinners and a Bible contest. Teens have the opportunity to help with an ADRA project aimed at helping needy children in Sao Tome, an African island nation near the equator, with food and school attendance. Pastor Stephan Sigg, president of the Adventist Church in Switzerland, is speaking at each morning and evening worship. Participants came from Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, Luxembourg, Austria, Portugal, Romania, Switzerland, Slovakia, Spain and the Czech Republic.
The Adventist University of the Philippines (AUP) graduated the first class from its School of Medicine at the end of June. There was a total of 16 aspiring physicians. Dr. Francisco Gayoba, the university president, said, “We have a unique curriculum compared to other medical schools in the Philippines. Our medical students are not only trained to be clinicians, researchers, managers, educators, and social mobilizers, which are outcomes prescribed by the Commission on Higher Education, but also as physician missionaries. They also take religion and medical ministry courses.” Dr. Lisa Beardsley-Hardy, education director for the denomination’s General Conference, congratulated the graduates and the faculty on the momentous occasion.
ADRA is responding to a worse-than-usual monsoon season in southern Asia. The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) is providing disaster relief to many thousands of people affected by extreme rainfall this year. Floods and landslides in India, Nepal and Bangladesh have caused great damage and cost many lives. More than 44 million people were affected. In India emergency shelter for more than 45,000 homeless people has been set up. Community kitchens were opened in order to provide food for families who are most affected by the floods. In Nepal, about 90,000 people have lost homes and farms because of floods and landslides. ADRA has provided emergency supplies of food and medicine. In Bangladesh, the government has declared a state of emergency in the north and southeast of the country where more than 900,000 people were the most affected. ADRA Bangladesh is doing needs assessments in the most affected areas.
Adventist HealthCare and Howard University Hospital have entered into a letter of intent agreement. According to the agreement, the hospital will join the Adventist group of health care facilities. In addition to Howard University Hospital being part of the D.C. region’s health network, it will be instrumental in filling future healthcare positions in the network. Adventist HealthCare is a not-for-profit network which includes four hospitals, mental health services and home health agencies that serve the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. Adventist HealthCare is not part of the West Coast’s Adventist Health network of hospitals, nor is it part of Adventist Health System, headquartered in Altamonte Springs, Florida.