News Briefs for May 28, 2020
News reports from the denomination’s new digital missionary campaign; the Lake Union Conference; Public Campus Ministries; Iquitos, Peru; and Loma Linda University Health:
Earlier this week, the Adventist Church announced an international digital evangelism initiative. The denomination is hoping to recruit 5,000 digital missionaries by May 31.
“There are millions of people searching for answers to their anxiety, depression, sadness, financial difficulties and many other pressing questions. We are calling on thousands of digital missionaries who will create content that will alleviate their suffering by showing the true image of love and compassion that can be found in Jesus,” said Sam Neves, associate director for communication at the General Conference (GC).
“We exist to help people understand the Bible to find freedom, healing and hope in Jesus. Every one of us can edit Wikipedia articles, answer Quora questions and offer trustworthy Biblical guidance,” added Neves.
Adventist News Network reported the series “Unlocking Bible Prophecies” is being organized by Adventist World Radio (AWR) and will be available on May 31 at 7 pm in every time zone. The series will launch on awr.org/bible where Cami Oetman, Vice-President of AWR, will present Biblical messages for 14 consecutive nights.
Digital Missionaries will receive a series of “digital missions,” or tasks. Their first “mission” is to recruit 5 more missionaries by Sunday, May 31.
Digital missionaries will receive daily emails with “missions” involving Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, WhatsApp, Messenger, Quora, Wikipedia and many other platforms. They will use their own personal accounts to inspire family, friends, colleagues and everyone in their circle of influence to engage with Adventist content.
To sign up, visit connect.adventist.org/digital
Two months ago, with the COVID-19 pandemic blocking normal operations of Pathfinder clubs and Adventurer clubs, the Lake Union Conference in the United States went online to teach Pathfinder honors and Adventurer awards for children and Master Guide leadership training for adults.
Last week a total of 10,000 people had participated, reports Ron Whitehead, director of the Center for Youth Evangelism at Andrews University and a seminary professor of youth ministry. Abraham Henry, youth director of the Lake Region Conference, and Craig Harris, coordinator of club ministries for the Lake Union, organized the program and it is available to anyone at www.LakeUnionClubMinistriesAcademy.org. “This is a great Coronavirus success story,” Whitehead told Adventist Today.
Director of Public Campus Ministries at the General Conference, Dr. Jiwan S. Moon, is one of three elected departmental staff positions the GC administration has decided to eliminate due to financial challenges facing the GC. A number of support staff positions are also being cut. The Youth Department is being asked to take on Public Campus Ministries along with a number of existing programs. Moon will wrap up his work by July 31, 2020.
The city of Iquitos, Peru (the largest city in the world with no road access), has been severely hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Greg Hodgson, director of Global Health Initiatives in Denver, Colorado, reported that Iquitos-based Clinica Adventista Ana Stahl has struggled to provide services. Just as in the Peruvian government facilities, employees of the Adventist hospital have been infected. By the end of April, 55% of the staff at the Adventist facility were confirmed to have COVID-19 or had COVID-like symptoms. Sadly, Dr Elard Calli, the radiologist at la Clinica, passed away from COVID-19 on May 9.
The nurses and doctors still able to work were so few that on April 29, the administration decided to close la Clinica. Dr. Milka Brañez, the hospital’s director, wrote, “When we closed la Clinica, I was sick, and I cried bitterly. I felt that I had failed. How could we close at such a critical time for the region? But God has shown me that it was the best in those circumstances.” Continuing, Dr. Brañez said, “We are planning how to reopen some services such as drug care for chronic patients. The viral load is still very high in Iquitos. Since our employees are not fully cured and are still contagious, we must be very careful. I am strong in the Lord and I am not afraid of the future because God is in control. And we will rise again to help our neighbor who so badly needs us.”
In order to help protect employees at la Clinica, the Adventist hospitals in Colorado have raised over $40,000 for personal protective equipment (PPE). Plans are underway to ship additional supplies in partnership with AdventHealth’s Global Mission program based out of Central Florida, Shawnee Mission Medical Center in Kansas City, and ADRA International. However, with no income for a month, hospital resources are severely strained, and they will need additional support to endure the remaining pandemic crisis. Anyone interested in providing assistance can donate at Rocky Mountain Adventist Health Foundation (www.rmahf.org/ghi).
From Loma Linda University Health (edited for brevity) – LLUH is gradually returning to normal patient activities through a phased approach, including procedures and both inpatient and outpatient surgeries.
While many healthcare visits may be managed through telehealth or video visits, we want to assure the community that we have implemented appropriate infection prevention policies and procedures that aim to minimize the spread of COVID-19 for our patients and staff so patients can feel safe in our care.
We have implemented the following measures to ensure we are providing our patients with the safe, quality care they deserve.
Screening and Safety
- Temperature checks and screening questionnaires are being administered at the entry points into all of our facilities.
- We are limiting visitors in our hospitals and clinics.
- All visitors and staff are required to wear masks.
- Appropriate cleaning procedures in our facilities.
- Our providers are prepared with the necessary personal protective equipment that is recommended for the delivery of care.
- Social distancing and limited capacity in our waiting rooms.
- COVID-19 testing for patients upon admission and prior to surgery.
- Separate units for COVID-19 patients and strict care plans in an effort to avoid nosocomial spread.
Virtual Care Options
In order to continue to provide access to our primary care providers and specialists, we have enhanced virtual care strategies across our campus. Visit lluh.org/mychart for more info.
All clinics are open and ready to serve patients. We are encouraging video visits through MyChart; however, we know and understand that some conditions require an in-person appointment.
Urgent Care and Emergency Department
If a member of the community is experiencing something that needs to be addressed urgently, we are here and can provide safe care during these unprecedented times. It is vital for community members to remember not to be complacent in their health or hold back during the COVID-19 era.
The Medical Center and Children’s Hospital Emergency Departments remain open and ready to take care of patients. Loma Linda University Health Faculty Medical Clinics – Redlands Blvd Urgent Care also remains open; however, the Advanced Urgent Care is closed until further notice.
For more information on what Loma Linda University Health is doing to recover from these unprecedented times, visit lluh.org/coronavirus.