We are armed with one of the most powerful messages, the Health Message, that teaches and instructs us how to live healthy wholistically – mind, body, and soul. Being well should be desired by all of us. Being in a state of wellness makes life so much more productive and happier.

I believe that it is our Christian duty to take excellent care of our bodies and that we should glorify God with our bodies. The Bible makes this very clear. It informs in Corinthians 6: 19, 20, “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore, honour God with your body.” Romans 12:1 says, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship.” Corinthians 10:31 advises, “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” John sums it up, “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.” (3 John 2).

On March 24, 2023, The Ministry of Health & Wellness, at the Launch Ceremony of their Wellness Unit lamented that our country is in a health crisis. What does this mean for us as Seventh-day Adventist Christians? Are we caught up in the crisis? What are you doing to protect yourself and your family’s health? Are we fully embracing our Health Message and sharing it?  

Some 18 years ago, the Health Ministries Department of our Conference along with the Adventist Health Professions Association launched a wellness program with the aim of sharing and promoting health in our local churches and communities. The Eight Weeks to Wellness Program, held annually, is one of our signature health programs that teaches and promotes biblical health principles. This program (which started off as the 12 Weeks to Wellness Program) has catered to thousands of participants (inclusive of children) across our archipelago. In fact, this program has also been conducted in a few of our primary schools in New Providence. We have also trained many healthcare professionals and lay health enthusiasts in how to develop, conduct and assess wellness programs.

From eating healthy to being physically active, from preventing and managing chronic diseases to preserving our mental health, from gardening to financial health, and from spiritual devotions to food demonstrations are all tenets of this transformative program.

From year to year, our programs are thematic. This year, our theme is, ‘I Choose…,’ with the intention of equipping and empowering our participants to make healthy lifestyle choices. It is also our hope that they will integrate these lifestyle principles and share them with their families, friends, and co-workers to spread the message of health and wellness.

Realizing the challenge that comes with making lifestyle changes, we’ve added a new feature to our program. Until the launch of our 2024 Program, we will engage our participants in monthly interactive educational sessions that will seek to encourage and motivate them as they journey toward achieving and maintaining excellent health. 

We are indeed grateful to all our former Health Ministries Directors, local Health Ministries Leaders, the Adventist Health Professions Association, coaches, participants, sponsors, and all who played a role in making this annual Program an impactful one. We have heard the testimonies and the praise reports of participants. We have experienced the goodness and mercies of God each year it is conducted. May this Program continue to be a household name and a beacon in our community.

I appeal to you, and I challenge you to do all you can to protect and preserve your health. Let’s by God’s grace truly represent Him by living as healthy lives as we can and teaching others to do likewise. We look forward to continuing serving you as we seek to share and promote health.

- Shandera Smith- Health Ministries Director, South Bahamas Conference of Seventh-day Adventists