News Briefs for August 30, 2019
News reports from Oshkosh, Wisconsin; Germany; Taiwan; Papua New Guinea; Northern Ontario and Colombia:
Nearly 60,000 Pathfinders, adult leaders, and supportive families attended the Chosen International Camporee on Sabbath, August 17, in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. The event is organized every five years by the Center for Youth Evangelism at Andrews University for the denomination’s North American Division (NAD). The August 12-17 camporee saw 1,311 people baptized, breaking the record for the number of people baptized at a single event in the NAD.
The leaders of the Council of Christian Churches in Germany (ACK) have unanimously approved guest membership for the Seventh-day Adventist Church in ACK Bavaria. The process was completed at the end of July. Dr. Bertram Meier, chairman of the ACK Bavaria, said “Adventists are warmly welcome in our circle. The mutual trust has grown steadily in recent times, so that all member churches of the ACK Bayern look to a joyous future of even closer cooperation with the Adventist Church.” The president of the Adventist denomination in Bavaria, Pastor Wolfgang Dorn, commented, “As Adventists in Bavaria we are pleased to be able to participate as a guest member of the ACK Bavaria.” The council now has 19 member denominations, three guest members and four cooperating organizations. The Adventist Church in Bavaria includes 70 congregations and 4,500 baptized members.
Taiwan Adventist Hospital was the first hospital in the country to achieve official “halal” approval for Muslim patients. It was certified by the Indonesian Ulema Council. Halal is an Arabic word which means that dietary standards, cooking and all things related are permissible under Islamic law. Meals of the hospital, as well as the drugs and care products, meet the strict standard. The research center of the hospital has a Muslim prayer room along with prayer rugs, copies of the Koran and washing facilities. The menu offers more than 200 different “halal” approved meals and snacks. The hospital has 380 beds and was established in 1955. Taiwan has a population of 23.5 million and has 6,714 members of the Adventist Church in 58 congregations. In addition to the hospital, the denomination also operates a college with about 320 students.
From APD, the official news agency for the Adventist Church in parts of Europe – The Silva Memorial Seventh-day Adventist Church, a local congregation of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea (PNG), recently opened a refuge for victims of domestic violence on its property. The “House of Care” will provide temporary accommodation for domestic or sexual violence victims. According to Australia’s Adventist Record publication, the center will serve as a first point of contact and support for protection-related education and counseling.
The “House of Care” is the result of a partnership between the local congregation and relief organizations ADRA (Adventist Development and Relief Agency) Australia, ADRA Papua New Guinea and Australia’s Avondale College. Both church and government representatives expressed the hope that the house would become a model for other churches in the country and take over the lead in the fight against domestic and sexual violence across Papua New Guinea.
ADRA Canada and volunteers from the Adventist churches in Ontario provided disaster response services to the indigenous population in Northern Ontario in the aftermath of wildfires. Residents had to leave their homes and were cared for in emergency shelters in the Pikangikum First Nation reservation. The displaced persons had to be evacuated to emergency shelters in Sioux Lookout and Thunder Bay. ADRA Canada helped with the support of regional church leadership of the denomination in Ontario because the people who had to flee left with very few belongings from their homes. A team of volunteers, including two nurses, flew from Toronto north-west to Thunder Bay on Lake Superior and then drove four hours to Sioux Lookout. There, the evacuees were admitted and treated. The ADRA volunteers worked around the clock. About half of the displaced are children, reported the emergency services.
From APD (Adventist News Agency) – Managers and employees of the Adventist University in Medellin, Colombia (Universidad Adventista de Colombia UNAC), are supporting a start-up project in which 15 immigrant families from Venezuela and five local low-income families, can set up their own small businesses, said Zulay Herrera, project manager.
The families have been equipped with tools, stoves, industrial machinery, food products, sewing machines, printers, and food carts that can be used for mobile sales. ADRA Colombia has given all families a basket with food and games for the children. According to the communications department of the Adventist Church in Columbia, families were trained to use the equipment, sell products and manage their small businesses. The business owners will meet once a month with the employees of the university, so that they can accompany the project development and support.