Andrews Right For Medical Tourism

The privately operated Andrews Memorial Hospital has been targeted to become a centre of excellence offering first-world neurosurgeries, and the doctors driving that push are staking their reputations on its success.

The duo of business partners, investors, physicians Dr Kingsley Chin, chief executive of KIC ventures, Dr David Walcott - the 2011 Jamaica Rhodes Scholar - believe Andrews is the prefect fit for their dream of making Jamaica the place tourist visit for sun, sand and surgery.

"We are in the process of fundraising for a large outpatient centre of excellence, first-rate, avant-garde institution, first of its kind in Jamaica. So think Cleveland Clinic or Mayo Clinic in Jamaica.

"We are pioneering game-changing disc-replacement surgeries, and this will be our showpiece promotion for our centre of excellence," Walcott told The Sunday Gleaner.

The overseas-based Chin and Walcott have wasted no time in setting up their outfit.

"What have we done so far? We have postponed erecting a building itself while still pursuing investors as we continue developing our track record. So far we have partnered with Andrews Hospital, investing in excess of US$1 million in equipment brought down from the United States.

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Questions Regarding Care for Students Navigating Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Differences

Over the past few years, Andrews University has been working to respond to questions about sexual orientation and gender identity that have arisen on our Adventist campuses. Our commitment from the beginning has been to hold and put into practice the biblical teaching of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, as expressed in our fundamental beliefs and the official statements on human sexuality issued by the General Conference and its North American Division church region.

A few years ago, the university created a Task Force made up of faculty, staff, students, church leaders and board members. This group worked closely with the relevant subcommittee of our Board of Trustees, which includes significant representation from church leaders. From this collaboration, the University established “A Seventh-day Adventist Framework for Relating to Sexual Orientation Differences on the Campus of Andrews University,”1 which outlines our commitment to the biblical teachings and values of the Adventist church and establishes policies that call our students to uphold them. This document sets the expectation that sexual intimacy belongs only within marriage, defined as “a lifelong union between a man and a woman.” Furthermore, the University clarifies that students are to refrain “from romantic behaviors between individuals of the same sex.” This policy is strictly enforced through our student conduct processes, and the Adventist biblical position is taught in our classrooms and from our pulpits.

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Inter-America launches “Year of the Child and Adolescent” through online program

Church leader says new initiative is for children and adolescents to be part of spreading the gospel in their own circles and culture.

The Seventh-day Adventist Church in Inter-America invited church leaders, teachers, department heads, church members and youngsters to get involved in what the church is calling the Year of the Child and Adolescent, set to begin next month. The invitation came as the top leadership launched an overview of its comprehensive initiative during an online program on Saturday, Dec. 9.


Year of the Child and Adolescent Launch, Miami, Florida, United States, Dec. 9, 2017. [Photo: Keila Trejo/IAD]

Inter-America’s Year of the Child and Adolescent initiative will seek to reinforce Christian values and encourage youngsters to study, live and share the message of the gospel with their friends and neighbors.

“During the entire year we will look for ways to learn how God has a plan for each one of us, and share His love and kindness so we can evangelize the world,” said Dinorah Rivera, children’s and adolescent ministries director for the church in Inter-America.

“This is not a program to keep the children entertained, while parents are involved in the church,” said Israel Leito, president of the church in Inter-America.

“The initiative is for children and adolescents to be part of spreading the gospel not as we do so [as adults] but in their circles, their culture, in modern methods through this ‘Talking Backpack’”.

The “Talking Backback” is at the heart of the 12-month initiative where patches and pins earned will be displayed on children’s and adolescent’s backpacks as they study and learn character building traits such as truthfulness, courtesy, respect, gratefulness, forgiveness, punctuality, service, responsibility, obedience, integrity, optimism and kindness through various activities at local churches as well as Adventist schools throughout the territory.

Adventist World Church President Ted N.C. Wilson congratulated the IAD for its initiative to involve children in sharing the gospel through a video message he prepared from his travels in Myanmar. “What a fascinating way to involve so many young people and children through the ‘Talking Backpack’ to help children witness,” said Pastor Wilson.

Linda Koh, children’s ministries director for the Adventist world church, applauded the efforts for the initiative which will involve thousands of children and adolescents across the IAD.

It’s about preparing children to uphold values and principles that a Christian should have, said Rivera. “We want to create more awareness as to the importance of involving children in all facets of the church for mission,” she added. “To get more children involved, we need to help them strive to possess a character like Jesus, learn to have a spirit of service and mission and become part of the church’s commission to reach others for the kingdom of God,” explained Rivera.

The initiative falls under the IAD’s “Lord Transform Me” initiative which includes connecting and sharing the hope of salvation across communities as well as help focus on getting every member involved in the mission of the church, said Rivera.

Aside from a manual, a box of values, patches, pins, backpacks, a new mobile application called VE.app will provide activities, verses, messages, and games that will reinforce the monthly character trait emphasized by leaders and teachers every week and month of the year.

There were 500 connection sites watching the live online program.

In Panama, more than 1,300 children, adolescents and leaders tuned into the program from the church’s Maranatha Auditorium. Thousands more children and leaders gathered at local churches, schools and auditoriums to witness the launch of the initiative starting in a few weeks.

The program included panel discussion, available new resources, success reports from pilot segments of the initiative in Inter-America and more.

To learn more about Inter-America’s Year of the Child and Adolescent, visit theirFacebook Page HERE.

Adventist Pastor Admitted to the Jamaican Supreme Court Bar

Omar Oliphant, created history in the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Jamaica by becoming the first ordained minister to become an attorney-at-law. He was admitted to the Jamaican  Bar on Dec. 7, 2017, in a ceremony held at the Jamaican Supreme Court in Kingston.

Omar Oliphant becomes the first ordained minister to be admitted to the Jamaican Supreme Court Bar, on Dec. 7, 2017, in Kingston, Jamaica. Image by Jon Saleen Oliphant

Oliphant, who pastors a district of five churches with a membership of over 1,000 is also the communication and youth director of the church’s northern region comprising St. Ann and Trelawny. He graduated from the University of the West Indies September, after completing the three-year LLB (Bachelor of Laws) degree program in two years and graduated in 2015 with honors before successfully completing all levels of his legal training at the Norman Manley Law School. His area of specialization is civil law.

The rigorous of legal studies were no match for the grit, determination and perseverance of Pastor Oliphant who despite his various professional, work responsibilities and family, overcame the onerous task of working in St. Ann while studying in Kingston, which is about 65 miles away.

In describing the experience, the father of two children confessed that “this was the most trying period of my life but one which brought not only new opportunities to learn, but clearly revealed the providential love of God.”

“God supplied my every need. I am truly amazed at how beautifully the Lord Himself provided and placed the pieces together….it was certainly not by might,” said Oliphant, who also serves on several denominational and civic boards.

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Adventist Leaders Call for International Cooperation to End Abuse of Refugees in Libya

Recent video evidence of an active slave market in the north African country of Libya has focused international attention on what has, until now, been a largely unpublicized human rights tragedy, says a Seventh-day Adventist Church spokesperson.

“What this video reveals is the shocking and ruthless exploitation of vulnerable human beings; refugees who are desperately seeking an escape from poverty and violence,” says Nelu Burcea, who is the Adventist Church’s liaison to the United Nation and an associate director of its Public Affairs and Religious Liberty (PARL) department. “Our church joins those who are calling for concerted international action to end this immense human rights disaster in North Africa.”

According to Burcea, the slave trade in Libya represents just one part of a much larger picture of abuse of African refugees. Libya’s geographical position, just across the Mediterranean Sea from Italy, has made it a major transit point for African refugees seeking to enter Europe. The United Nations International Organization for Migration (IOM) estimates that some 450,000 people have attempted the dangerous sea journey from Libya to Europe during the past three years.

However, with increasing European efforts to end human smuggling and to turn back refugee boats, a growing number of refugees find themselves trapped in Libya’s overflowing detention centers and makeshift refugee camps. Reports from these facilities speak of deteriorating conditions, poor organization, and lawlessness. As the situation worsens, various local militia and tribal groups have moved to exploit those who are trapped in Libya, with no means to either continue on to Europe as refugees, or to return to their home country.

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Adventist Church Lends Support in Fight Against Violence Against Women and Girls

President of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Jamaica, Pastor Everett Brown, threw his full support behind the move to end violence against women and girls in our society at the service to observe International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on November 25, 2017 at the Hagley Park SDA Church in Kingston.

The service was organized by the Bureau of Gender Affairs, an agency of the Ministry in collaboration with the Jamaica Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists under the theme: Leave No One behind; End Violence against Women & Girls.

In his message Brown conveyed that the members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Jamaica were pleased to identify with government and none government organizations and the wider society in the fight to end violence against women and girls. He also highlighted that the

World Church of Seventh-day Adventists  has an annual campaign  against violence to women  called “End it Now”  which runs for sixteen days and will end on December 10, 2017.

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God Showed Up For Me, Pastor Testifies

The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous runneth into it and are safe." Proverbs 18:10. It was the last night of a successful two-week crusade, where Pastor Jovan Whyte of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church had delivered his most powerful sermon yet.

Pastor Jovan Whyte

Reminiscing on the evening's proceedings, which included baptisms and testimonies of renewal, he happily headed home, thanking God for using him.

Unbeknown to Whyte, a test of his faith awaited him at his gate.

"When I got [there], it was later than usual, so my neighbours were asleep. The street light on my lane was off, for some strange reason, so I kept my car lights on as I came out and opened the gate.

"Upon returning to my car, a man came from behind an old house and shoved me against my car door, which closed, with my car keys still in the ignition," he said.

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800 ADVENTIST YOUTH LEADERS COMMISSIONED FOR SERVICE IN CJC

800 youths of the Central Jamaica Conference (CJC) were invested in various areas of Youth -Ministry during a Youth Rally and Investiture Service held on Sabbath, November 25, 2017 at Camp Verley, Spring Gardens.

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The two oldest Master Guides, Eslyn Lawrence (Centre-Right) - 69 years old from the Pacers Club, Clear Park SDA Church and Redva Ferrill (Centre-Left)- 63 years old from the Philadelphia Club, Waterford SDA Church pose with Pastors Everett Brown, President JAMU, Dane Fletcher, Youth Director JAMU, & Kevan Barnaby, Youth Director CJC, (2nd Right) and other Pastors Valbert Walker (Left), Romone Phoenix (2nd Left) Howard Grant (Back), and Pastor Christopher Mighty (Right) | Credits: Andrew Johnson

Among those invested were two (2) of the oldest Master Guides, Eslyn Lawrence - 69 years old from the Pacers Club, Clear Park SDA Church and Redva Ferrill - 63 years old from the Philadelphia Club, Waterford SDA Church.

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Senior Youth Leaders, Master Guides , Adventurers and Pathfinders at Youth Rally & Investiture Service | Credits: Andrew Johnson

It was an historic evening for the Youth Ministries Department as this is its largest delegation of youth to be invested as Master Guides, Senior Youth Leaders, Adventurers and Pathfinders at once.

Over 100 baptized during rain-affected Lay Preach-a-Thon 2017

Amidst torrential rains that saw some churches canceling up to 3 meeting nights for the week, 138 persons got baptized during Lay Preach-a-thon 2017 that ran between November 11-18.

Lay Preach-a-Thon is a one-week evangelistic programme organized by the Personal Ministries Department of Central Jamaica Conference as an extension to the Annual Week of Prayer. It has been held in November every year since 2013.

“Evangelism is not merely about baptisms,” said President Johnson, as he encouraged and thanked the Pastors for their efforts. “It [Evangelism] is about proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ via the various methods. There are times when there will be no baptisms; but preach the word just the same”, Johnson continued.

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Inter-American Leaders Discuss Rebuilding Efforts With Maranatha

Top Seventh-day Adventist leaders in Inter-America met with Maranatha Volunteer International (MVI) leaders yesterday to discuss rebuilding efforts in the recently hurricane-ravaged territory in the Caribbean. Leaders briefly took note of the scope of damage to churches and schools after hurricanes Irma and Maria in the worse hit islands during a meeting at the Inter-American Division (IAD) headquarter office in Miami, Florida.

“There is great need for reconstruction on islands like Dominica, Barbuda, St. Maarten, and the US Virgin Islands, and we wanted to bring Maranatha in to see how far they can help us in rebuilding properties and schools,” said Pastor Israel Leito, president of the church in Inter-America.

“I know Maranatha cannot be stretched much, but they come with good will and good intentions to see how they can help us move further on the ground,” said Pastor Leito.

President of Maranatha Volunteers International (MVI) Don Noble said that the 48-year-old supportive ministry of the Seventh-day Adventist Church has some 180,000 project requests at the moment, but is willing to look into assessing what it can do in the IAD territory.

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