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HELM Training in Southern Philippines Attracts Local Community

The Adventist church in Negros Oriental and Siquijor (NSM), Philippines held a one-day health education seminar for the Lifestyle Modification level 1 training at the Siquijor Seventh-day Adventist church on January 23, 2014. Approximately 50 non-Adventist participants attended from the community including a national police retired colonel, public school supervisors and teachers, local government officials and employees and local businessmen.
 
The local community is known for its strong devotion to Catholicism and mysticism. Thus, Adventist members in the area were delighted with the greater-than-expected community response since the event was held on a Sunday morning, historically a time of worship in the area. Members  credit the Holy Spirit with breaking down the previously-held walls of prejudice toward Adventist programs and generating new interest in the church’s health program.  Community participants seemed excited to listen to the lectures of Dr. Glenn Maypa, Health Director of the church in the central Philippines (CPUC) and Mr. Bernie Maniego, health and communication director for NSM.
 
HELM is a strategy for health evangelism conceptualized by NSM Health Ministries Department and contains four levels. Each level only requires one day of training and a one-month period of application for the participants to normalize their blood pressure, blood sugar and BMI (body mass index). During the application period, Adventist members visit their new community friends to further develop the friendships, follow up on their health and lifestyle improvement, pray for them and study the Bible's health and eternal message.
 
During the HELM level – 1 training, the following curriculum subjects were covered:  1. Health Screening, 2. Overview of Non Communicable Diseases, 3. Diet for a Lifetime, 4. Killing the Silent Killers, 5. Lifestyle Medicines for Natural Healing, 6. Importance of Exercise, 7. Conquering Cancers, 8. Health Age Composition Assessment through KARADA Machine, 9. Diet Recommendation and Exercises Program.
 
 
The January 23 training concluded with inspiring testimonies from selected participants. The community participants are influential in the area and so it was encouraging to see their desire to stay for the entire day and hear their opinions regarding the training.  One lady commented, “Some of my friends asked why I would attend the HELM, which is an Adventist program. But I told them that it is a good program; in fact, I subscribe to the magazine, “Health and Home”, and it tells of the Adventist lifestyle. Adventists are a good people and they have good health programs and I want to know more about health because I want to live longer. I do not regret attending the HELM because I’ve discovered lots of health information.”
 
Chita Maglinte, Municipal Agriculturist of Siquijor, said, “We need to apply and practice what we have learned and share it to our family members and friends for us to enjoy good health. Let us encourage others to attend the HELM and learn from these very informative lectures on health.” The group agreed to meet for the 2nd level on March 23, 2014 in the same venue of the Siquijor Adventist church.
 
The Adventist church operates 11 churches in the six towns of Siquijor island. The population in that area is over 90,000. [Bernie C. Maniego]
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