Adventist Church in Malaysia Kicks Off with Two Major Health Initiatives

Southern Asia-Pacific Division

Adventist Church in Malaysia Kicks Off with Two Major Health Initiatives

Aging members of the local community made the focus of the health initiatives.

Malaysia | Hazel Wanda Ginajil

The Adventist Church in Malaysia's (MAUM) Health Ministry Department kicks off the year with a focus on two major health initiatives: The Grace of Aging and Heal Your Lifestyle.

The Grace of Aging, a collaborative endeavor between the Health Ministries and Adventist Possibility Ministries, is tailored primarily for the aging members of the community. Dr. Jane Yap, director of Health Ministries in MAUM, underscored Malaysia's demographic transition towards an aging population during her program introduction.

Recent studies indicate that Malaysia's population of individuals aged 60 and above stands at approximately 2.3 million. This data underscores the aging trend within the country and emphasizes the urgent need for society to actively contribute to the creation of a conducive environment for the elderly to age gracefully, despite the inherent challenges they may encounter.

One way that the Adventist Church responded to this issue is by crafting a comprehensive program aimed at facilitating aging among elders. This multifaceted program addresses various aspects, including physical, social, financial, mental, emotional, and spiritual preparations.

The Grace of Aging program is a hybrid event that has been taking place at Petaling Jaya Chinese Church. This program has also been running via Zoom and is live streamed on the MAUM and Eight Treasure Facebook pages. The program is made available in English, Chinese, and Bahasa Malaysia. The program started in February and runs every Sabbath afternoon until May 18, 2024. Some of the speakers include Dr. Dicky Ng, a Penang Adventist Hospital (PAH) wellness doctor, and Dr. Shee Soon Chiew, a psychologist and educator. By the end of the program, the organizers intend to help members form a senior citizen club in their local churches.

The second program is a spin-off of last year’s Heal Your Lifestyle series. This program takes participants on a two-week journey to discover how to restore their physical bodies through a series of webinars and practical dietary modifications. The program tries to break the monotony of daily life by making intentional decisions to establish healthy habits based on the three pillars of lifestyle medicine: food, exercise, and mental health.

Dr. Jane Yap developed the 14-day program, which was introduced on March 22nd, with the goal of kickstarting good behaviour, developing a healthy lifestyle, and improving one’s life while helping others better theirs.

A total of 100 people from Peninsular Malaysia, Sarawak, Sabah, and the Adventist headquarters have registered. Juice fasting is a part of the program's first three days, and then complete, plant-based meals follow. Participants are organized into groups to track their travels. Each group has a map that depicts the daily mileage. The group that covers the furthest distance will be rewarded.

Dr. Jane shares, “From these programs catered to our church members, it is my hope that they will use it to reach out to their friends and community... And others will get to know Christ.”

This article was provided by the Southern Asia-Pacific website.