News Headlines: Zimbabwe Hospital Ward Adopted by Adventist Church (and More!)

Hospital Ward in Zimbabwe adopted by Seventh-day Adventist Church. The Seventh-day Adventist Church has adopted a Zimbabwe female ward at Gokwe South District Hospital, one of the biggest district referral centers in the country.  It  registers about 700 births every month.  The church will take complete charge of the running costs.  So far the Church has spent $2,500 on the ward, buying new plates, spoons, and bed covers. SDA Health Director Simbarashe Mhako said, "By adopting the ward, we simply mean that we are going to look after all the patients who will be admitted in the ward. We are going to clean the ward every Sunday.  We are going to paint it, provide food to patients, and pay medical bills for some patients who do not afford.” From Bulawayo 24 News, “Seventh Day Adventist Church adopts ward at Gokwe Hospital.”

North Carolina Adventist Churches Distribute "Bags of Love”. The Wilmington and Ephesus Seventh-day Adventist Churches in North Carolina are sponsoring "It’s My Very Own, Bags of Love" outreach. The non-profit gives children displaced from their homes comforting items. Carol O’Heffernan, district coordinator, brought the idea to Wilmington from Tennessee. Each handmade bag is given to a foster child, newborns to17. The bag includes a homemade comforter, sanitary items, toys, teddy bears, books, and a letter written by a child from an area church. Right now the group provides at least 15 bags a month. “The message we want these children to have is that their community loves them and that their community cares about them and want to do something to make their transition a little easier. When we started 3 1/2 years ago, we gave out 113 bags for the whole year, and so far this year we have given out 260 bags of love,” O’Heffernan said. From WWAY 3 News, “Bags of Love’ spreads comfort to foster care.”

Redlands Adventist Academy 10-year-old Student Raises $600 for New LLUMC Children’s Hospital from Birthday Donations. Max Hilliard, a 10-year-old student at Redlands Adventist Academy, recently asked his  friends if their parents would donate to the new tower for Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital instead of giving him a birthday present. His friends, family members, and classmates responded in a big way.  “Everybody was very kind, and we got over $600,” he says. “I feel very happy with the donation!”  Max was honored for his contribution during a check presentation ceremony held recently in the lobby of the hospital. His mom, Tammy Hilliard, was there as was his grandfather, Henry Lamberton, PsyD, associate dean for student affairs at LLU School of Medicine.  LLU Children’s Hospital Foundation Representative Shandra Cady said,  “Max’s generous gift is very inspiring.  His thoughtfulness reflects the spirit of Christmas in a beautiful manner. We are truly honored and gratified to receive his gift.” From Loma Linda University, “Ten-year-old philanthropist donates $600 to Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital.”

Devout Tennessee Adventist High School Athlete Honors Sabbath by Resting, not Playing. Devout Seventh-day Adventist Amber Morman, a 6-foot forward and middle blocker volleyball and basketball player, chooses to vacate her starting spots in front of the net and in the post on certain nights for the Cleveland High Lady Raiders in Tennessee.  Her coaches admire and praise her decision to not play on Sabbath.  Basketball head coach Tony Williams said, “Amber’s unwavering faith is refreshing to me. A lot of my coaching colleagues respond to hearing me tell them why she can’t play some nights as ‘That’s different,’ because it is rare, but it is something that we celebrate for her.” Morman said, “I really have always liked sports, and I don’t think that just because I can’t play certain nights I should ever quit. I have found ways to cope with it. When I say I can’t play, most people say ‘Oh, that sucks’ or ‘I’m sorry,’ but I don’t see it like that. I see it as a blessing. Everyone needs that time of rest and time off, and I honestly wouldn’t have it any other way if I could change it.” Morman received her first collegiate offer this month to play sports at Washington Adventist University where she could play volleyball or basketball. She will graduate from Cleveland High in 2017. From Cleveland Banner, “Lady Raiders embrace Morman’s convictions.”

Anderson Church Serves Christmas Dinner to Community Members. The Anderson Seventh-day Adventist Church in California hosted its second-annual  Christmas dinner. “We see it as an opportunity to give,” youth leader Jake Beaton said. “We’re going to lift up Jesus Christ instead of Santa Claus." While volunteers made plenty of food, only a modest gathering of about 20 people arrived at the church on Balls Ferry Road. Beaton said it’s the whole package of sitting down to eat, socialize, and visit with strangers who are neighbors that makes the day special.  It doesn’t matter if you’re protestant, Seventh-day Adventist, or Catholic. We’re all human beings,” Beaton said.  “If there is too much left over we take the food to the people,” said co-youth leader Althea Beaton. Church members delivered food to doorsteps in Anderson and Redding, and they also gave to the homeless. From Record Searchlight, “Strangers break bread together on Christmas Day.”


Pam Dietrich taught English at Loma Linda Academy for 26 years and served there eight more years as the 7-12 librarian. She lives in Redlands, California.

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