Members' Vision Becomes Reality

December 07, 2015 | Carol Specht

Many months ago, Ron and Silvy Ririhena proposed a health evangelism program, which became a reality for Lents Church in Portland with a Health Expo on Sept. 20, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Ririhenas had served at several large-scale Adventist health expos. They believed the Lents Church, in conjunction with California's Weimar Health Institute, could sponsor such an event on a smaller scale. The church board agreed, and four dedicated Weimar instructors arrived a week early to conduct training sessions. 

Eager anticipation filled the air the morning of the event. Booths marked by colored banners sharing NEWSTART (Nutrition, Exercise, Water, Sunshine, Temperance, Air, Rest and Trust in God) guidelines were spaced throughout the Lents Activity Center. Beside the banners, church members were taking their places in the booths for health screening and sharing.

A dental van was on site, and folks were lined up, waiting for the starting time. When the doors opened, the guests were queued for the dental services and began visiting the other health stations.

Based on objective and subjective information obtained at the stations, the guests were given a health score when they stopped by the Weimar Health Gauge Station. Next, medical personnel counseled regarding health issues, and ministerial staff offered spiritual counseling and shared helpful pamphlets and books.

Throughout the day musicians performed. Two plant-based recipes were demonstrated by church member Cheryl Scheufler, and guests got to sample the recipes. The last station offered chair massages. The last backrub was given to a young, thin homeless woman. During the massage, she nodded off. When she awoke, she expressed her thanks.

Those involved with the Health Expo may well echo the comment Steve Madsen, Lents Church pastor, gave to the Ririhenas: “Thank you again for persevering with this vision to help it and lead it to become a reality."