Healing Bodies and Winning Souls
OKLAHOMA CITY – Jesus says, “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another.” What better way to show love than to help people experience the more abundant life that Jesus intends for us to experience? On Sunday, Dec. 19, over 135 people attended the “Diabetes Undone and Anxiety and Depression Relief” training sponsored by Oklahoma Native Ministries. Lonnie Carbaugh, pastor of the Oklahoma City Central Seventh-day Adventist Church, commented that it was thrilling to see so many people eagerly learning how they could be more effective in ministering to the needs of others.
Representatives from nearly 40 Seventh-day Adventist churches in Oklahoma were present at this conference-wide training session held at the Oklahoma City Central church. The training was for pastors and health ministry leaders to learn how to effectively teach classes on health to their churches and communities. Experts were brought in from different parts of the country: Danny Kwon, J.D., the executive director of “Life and Health” (LifeAndHealth.org), broke down in easy steps exactly how to teach a “Diabetes Undone” workshop. Jennifer Jill Schwirzer, LPC, Ed.D., with Abide Network, taught about the relevant topics of anxiety and depression, and scientifically proven methods of recovery that can be used in conjunction with professional treatment.
Resources and training were made available for the Spanish-speaking community as well. Jennifer Jill Schwirzer presented her message about mental health, which was translated, and afterwards Joaquin Cazares, M.D., and his wife Aida spoke about the “Diabetes Undone” program, as well as living a healthy lifestyle. The Hispanic Coordinator for the Oklahoma Conference, Luis Prieto, said six pastors and members from 12 Hispanic churches were present. He says the meetings made him feel good because they touched on a health topic that affects so many, and both the invited speakers and the materials will cover the needs of the church. He felt the Holy Spirit’s presence because the meeting was very spiritual, and everything that was discussed focused on God first and foremost as our Restorer. “The meeting was important because it was the first time the Hispanic sector was involved, and it touched on a disease that is common among us. We are so grateful for the gift of the materials and tools provided. It will now be our challenge to share what we learned with our community.”
Carbaugh believes these programs have the potential to make a huge impact on people’s lives. “Here at Central church we now have seven people trained and looking forward to running these programs in our community.” In Matthew 9:37-38 Jesus says, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into His harvest field.” Please join us in praying for church members as they conduct numerous health meetings in their communities, that many souls will be won for the Kingdom of God.
By Lauren Via, Luis Prieto and Lonnie Carbaugh