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Expanding Medical Missionary Work in Chile

With different activities, they support the church, imparting the Adventist health message in the physical, mental, social, spiritual, and environmental areas.

APROAS Chile and APROAS Students in operation in Ninhue, one of the places affected by the fires. (Photo: Aproas)

Motivated to do good for others by extending the healing ministry of Christ in the different areas of life—physical, mental, social, spiritual and environmental—a group of Seventh-day Adventist health professionals in Chile joined together to form a non-profit health association.


The idea was born in 2000, but it was in 2017 when they were officially formed, with legal branding as the Association of Adventist Health Professionals (APROAS). The organization exists to mainly reach individuals, families, groups, and underprivileged communities living in conditions of poverty and/or marginality in order to contribute to their development and restore in them the image of God. Although the attention is set upon all social, educational, and ethnic classes, they also provide training to professionals in different areas of the discipline.

WHAT DOES APROAS DO?

The work of APROAS focuses on the areas of health, education, culture, training, employment, housing, environment, community development, micro-enterprise, small production, popular consumption, human rights, indigenous communities, and sports and recreation in urban and rural areas, thus sharing a practical Gospel.

AREAS OF SERVICE

In the area of health services, they carry out health pastorals (a pastoral is a complete Sabbath program prepared by APROAS, from Sabbath School and divine worship in the morning to health fairs, workshops, health operations, seminars, or visitation plans during the afternoon), life and health fairs, Adventist health operations, urban health interventions, and surgical operations, among others.

Adventist Health Operations in Santa Juana, Bio Bio. (Photo: Aproas)

In the area of health education, health talks have been given on vegetable gardening, healthy cooking, smoking cessation, use of the eight natural remedies, a healthy lifestyle, prevention of chronic non-communicable diseases (NCDs), and health promotion, among others.


In the area of social support, responsible tutoring is provided to community residences such as transit centers, children's homes, establishments for the elderly, and companies, among others. Recently, APROAS has started a pilot project with Villarrica Adventist Academy that consists of giving health, orientation, and motivation talks to students from kindergarten to fourth grade, including, in some cases, their parents.


Pastoral Health in the Seventh-day Adventist Church of Palomares, Concepción. (Photo: Aproas)

In the spiritual area, they give talks on prophecy and other biblical themes, accompanied by various spiritually strengthening activities.

Health Expo in Bellavista, Villarrica. (Photo: Aproas)

The greatest motivation for those who make up APROAS is "Christ Himself, and the simple understanding of the favor He has done in our lives and to humanity. He gives us hope for life, and we want to extend Christ's healing ministry to other people and creatures," said Elsa Stevens, national coordinator of APROAS Chile.


Currently, three groups of people are part of APROAS: Adventist health professionals and technicians, Adventist and non-Adventist students who want to learn and share the health message and volunteers in different professional areas, and those sympathetic to the Adventist health message and principles.


APROAS has four active regional branches located in Concepción, Angol, Los Ríos, and Metropolitana, with a projection to open and reactivate branches in Chillán, Temuco, and Puerto Varas.

IN THE SERVICE OF THE CHURCH

"The gospel ministry is needed to give permanence and stability to the medical missionary work; and the ministry needs the medical missionary work to demonstrate the practical working of the gospel. Neither part of the work is complete without the other" (Ellen G. White, Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, p. 289).


APROAS also works in conjunction with the health ministry of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Chile and is at the service of the local church to support in various areas.


Participants in the I Meeting of APROAS Students, April 15, 2023 at the Adventist University of Chile. (Photo: Aproas)

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