Stories from California, Germany and Peru

A small town in California saw an Adventist health ministry take over its local hospital on Tuesday (November 1). The deal has been under development for more than a year, and in June residents voted by a 90 percent margin to ask for Adventist Health, the agency that operates health care institutions for the denomination in California and three other states, to take over their community hospital. “This is an amazing, wonderful day for Tehachapi,” stated Mayor Susan Wiggins, according to the Tehachapi News, at the official hand-over ceremony. Civic leaders had struggled for decades to get a new hospital built in the small town in the mountains east of Bakersfield in central California. The Adventist health ministry has committed $25 million to complete the new facility. It will also operate clinics in two other, smaller towns in the region; Mojave and California City. Tehachapi has a population of about 15,000 according to the census.

The Adventist Church in Wittenberg, Germany, launched the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation on Sabbath (October 29) with a worship service that was shared with more than 200 congregations via live radio and television broadcasts by the Hope Channel. Another 300 groups connected with the live streaming of the event on the Internet. The preacher was Dr. Johann Gerhardt, a theology professor at Friedensau University, the Adventist institution of higher education near Magdeburg, Germany. His sermon started with Martin Luther’s famous statement in 1521 to the Council of Worms, “Here I Stand.” It focused on the centrality of the Gospel to all Christian faith. (APD)

The 90th anniversary of Clinica Adventista Ana Stahl was celebrated recently in Iquitos, Peru. Some 1,500 local residents, former patients, civic leaders and Adventist leaders participated as well as a team of seven from the Centura Global Health Initiative, representing volunteers from the Adventist hospitals in Denver, Colorado. Over the last ten years, 1,800 Denver volunteers have treated nearly 44,000 patients at the Iquitos hospital, including 2,082 surgeries. Stahl and her husband were the two legendary Adventist missionaries who initiated outreach to the highlands of Peru. Both went to the Latin American country as nurses trained at an Adventist nursing school in the United States. “Our mission to extend the healing ministry of Christ does not recognize borders,” stated Greg Hodgson, the director of the initiative who led the team from Denver to Peru for the celebration.