by Monte Sahlin

AT News Team, September 30, 2013

The new documentary entitled "The Adventists 2" focuses on the significant role that the Adventist denomination plays in providing health care around the world. It includes a clip of a World Health Organization representative saying, “Nearly 1.2 billion people around the world have little or no access to health care” and in some developing nations up to 40 percent of the medical care is provided by faith-based organizations. Some of the most active provider organizations are elements of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The denomination has sent medical missionaries around the world for over a century.
 
Journey Films, producer of more than 30 award-winning documentary films on religion, faith and spirituality, including Bonhoeffer and The Power of Forgiveness, announced today the release of The Adventists 2 for Public Broadcasting System (PBS) stations this fall. The film is the sequel to the award-winning The Adventists, which told the story of the Seventh-day Adventists as an American-born religion whose members are some of the healthiest people in the world and operate some of the leading hospitals in the United States. The new documentary has already become an Amazon best-seller and won the Gabriel Award for films about religion.
 
The production company is not in any way affiliated with the Adventist Church and Martin Doblmeier, president of Journey Films and director of the two documentaries on Adventists is not and never has been an adherent. He is a widely known documentary producer who specializes in subjects related to religion. Doblmeier said in the news release, "Adventists are living on average seven to ten years longer than others because they take seriously the notion that the body is the ‘Temple of God.‘ That belief has shaped their health practices … and fostered a commitment to build hospitals and clinics in some of the world’s more remote regions where otherwise no health care would be available. It is one of the most inspiring stories we have ever encountered.”
 
The new documentary includes six stories filmed around the world. One story follows medical missionaries as they travel by boat up the Amazon River to offer basic care in remote villages. In Malawi, Africa, a hospital opened in 1902 to fight leprosy is today on the front lines in the battle against HIV-AIDS. In Haiti, the Adventist hospital was one of the few facilities spared in the 2010 earthquake and became an emergency medical center for much of the region. Today that hospital continues to be a leading facility for much needed orthopedic procedures. In China, a unique collaboration between the Adventist denomination and the Communist government has resulted in a first-of-its-kind hospital, Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital, now considered one of the country’s leading medical centers. And in the Dominican Republic a team of 50 doctors, nurses and medical specialists from the United States volunteer their time to perform life-changing surgeries in a rural hospital where such procedures would otherwise be unimaginable.
 
“The mission hospital is the pioneer of the modern medical system in multiple countries around the world,” says Dana Robert, director of the Center for Global Christianity and Mission at Boston University. She adds, “Around 1900 one third of the medical missionaries were women from the United States. The reason women got so heavily involved in medical missions is because of the oppression of women worldwide. Women medical doctors believed that if you showed the worth of a female body to people in other cultures they would start treating women better and appreciating women more.” The woman who helped found the Adventist Church, Ellen G. White, was among the advocates of medical missions and encouraged women to become physicians during the 19th and early 20th centuries.
 
Also featured in the film is Dr. Ben Carson, the world-renowned Adventist surgeon from John Hopkins University Medical Center who now has a School of Medicine in Nigeria opened in his name. It is a presentation of SCETV and is distributed nationally to member Public Television stations by American Public Television. In addition to Doblmeier, the production team includes associate producer Deryl Davis, cinematographer Nathan DeWild and production assistant John Dillon.
 
Check with your local PBS station as to when it is scheduled in your area. For more information contact John Dillon at john@journeyfilms.com or visit https://www.journeyfilms.com.