What a glorious sunny day as people were arriving from all over Australia for our year end AUC conference featuring the theme “Live 2B Healthy”. God wants to give His people health. “Behold, I will bring it health and cure, and I will cure them, and will reveal unto them the abundance of peace and truth.” Jeremiah 33:6. The call to you is to “preserve every portion of the living machinery, that you may use it for God. Preserve it for Him. Your health depends upon the right use of your physical organism.” Sons and Daughters of God, p. 171. At this conference however, the lectures were designed to not only provide theoretical information, but also practical demonstrations.
Our conference was opened by Sr. Susan Lausevic giving an overview of what the conference was all about–To eat well, live well and enjoy fellowship with one another. Br Domenic Polistina followed with a presentation “YB Healthy?”. Sr Daniela Balarezo led out with wonderful music, putting together a range of songs on health into our very own 2B Healthy songbook.
It was imperative to put the information into practice, so the next morning we had a large group of excited conference attendees for the various exercise groups. There were mini trampolines and chair exercise for low impact exercises run by Sr. Deborah Chapman and more intense exercises by Br. Paul Chapman. Lovely walking tracks were designed for the camp so that we could really enjoy nature. Morning and evening devotions were an inspiration bringing our spiritual health into focus with topics on “Deep Breathing–Prayer”, “Attitude of Gratitude”, “Healthy Choices”, “Losing Weight”, “Heart Transplant”, “Healthy Circle”, “Exercising the Right Arm”.
We were grateful to have Dr. Dragan Ivanov from Serbia to share his health expertise with lectures and discussion on topics covering Cancer, Diabetes, Mental Health, Fasting, Youth Health Challenges and lots of discussions on general health. Everyone was engaged as he gave these lectures and then answered questions from the audience that attended.
The children were all enjoying their ‘healthy’ programs too with lots of fun and educational programs put together by Sr. Vesna Kraus and her many dedicated helpers. They learnt all about the body, even viewing a real heart from a sheep.
Delicious, healthy meals were served daily from expert cooks from Coleambally, Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne overseen by Srs. Jessica and Marion Brown. Outdoor dining was encouraged by creating a festive atmosphere with shade umbrellas over picnic tables.
In the afternoons Health Booths and practical workshops were provided, instead of lectures, giving everyone a chance to ‘experience’ health. These were both educational, fun and relaxing. Sr. Monica Balarezo who is an expert massage therapist taught classes on various types of massage. Domenic and Nadine Polistina created a lot of interest with their workshops on Essential Oils. Gerson and Catherine Robles had a booth displaying the benefits of being Vegan. Sr. Susan and helpers supplied green juices and cool coconut water, which was very refreshing in the hot afternoons. Sr. Elisabeth Balarezo and Dr. Dragan spent time during the afternoon workshops with the youth dealing with Youth Health and prepping for Sunday’s “Health Expo”.
On Friday afternoon, a raw food workshop provided a lot of hands tips on preparing many raw dishes. Four experienced cooks provided a workshop, demonstrating four raw dishes that can be easily prepared at home. Sr. Rosetta Ilic led out with Thai raw wraps with a large assembly line of helpers who put together trays of appealing wraps. On another table Sr Rosemary Voncina was instructing a team putting together raw stuffed peppers. Sr. Susan was busy at another table with raw zuchinni and pasta sauce and beetroot and carrot dishs. Sr. Tanya had a table making Mexican salad. A “Raw Delicious” recipe book was prepared to hand out for the workshop. A lot of the dishes prepared were served for the Hallelujah Lunch on Sabbath.
We welcomed the Sabbath in with a lovely presentation by Br. Nathan Tyler on “The Remedy for Stress”. Stress is a main cause of disease today, and it can cause our physical body to break down. Br. Nathan spoke about learning to leave our cares with the Master Healer–Jesus.
Sabbath was another perfect sunny summer day. Divine Service was taken by Br. Peter Lausevic on how “God wants UTB Healthy” emphasising that health is given to us to serve God. The afternoon Youth Meeting was filled with wonderful items from the children, singing groups and choirs. Br. Paul Chapman presented the “The Right Arm of the Third Angel” as a fitting close of conference, and many thanks and gratitude were expressed to all those attending and to all the participants who made our gathering a success. The final component of the conference was the Health Expo, which took place on Sunday.
Sunday morning Schofields church was buzzing with activity and excitement as the hall was transformed into a temporary Health Expo. Charts, posters, registration tables, consulting rooms, equipment, products, juices and food items were all being put into place. There were twenty-four booths with over seventy volunteers working together to manage the tradeshow. This included volunteers acting as our kitchen staff, receptionists, ushers and substitutes for different booths. Sr. Elisabeth Balarezo was directing it all, as it then started to fall into place with everyone in their sections.
There was a booth learning about correct posture; two exercise bikes that rewarded your efforts with frozen smoothies as you cycled; and a table showing how too much ‘screen’ time affected your brain. St John’s Ambulance crew joined us for the day and gave two practical demonstrations on CPR and first aid. Some of the booths included a health quiz booth, chair massages, a gratitude wall, a BMI booth, blood sugar measurements, pH tested with green chlorophyll drink, natural skin care, delicious fruit soft serve ice cream, together with salad and nachos for lunch. The children had a five metre long paint mural, a petting zoo by our friends at Kindyfarm and a jumping castle, giving the youngest members of each family a fun-packed day.
Dr Dragan along with his translator Sr. Rosetta Illic, worked round the clock, in our downstairs office providing thorough 20-30 minute consultations. Pastoral consults were also available in the adjoining office.
As the day came to a close, everyone seemed reluctant to leave, and once pack down commenced, each of our volunteers took the opportunity to explore other booths. We are grateful for the work that every volunteer put in as well as for the work of our Health Expo planning team that worked behind the scenes, which included Ashley Sas, Natali Fuenzalida and Michael Godwin, led by Elisabeth Balarezo.
They are currently working on putting a manual together that will provide other churches around Australia the opportunity to put together an expo in their area. If you would be interested in providing this opportunity in your local church area, whether it is big or small, please contact Elim Health.
“It was great being part of the health camp and the expo. The health camp was well attended and everybody seemed happy and eager to learn. It was great having Dr Dragan there and being part of it all. The expo seemed really charged with a healthy and vibrant environment. The visitors who attended looked happy and everybody was having a great time. It was a privilege to be part of it and enjoy the guilt-free ice cream!” Catherine Robles
“First of all the expo was very well organised. I had no idea what to expect and was pleasantly surprised. I loved the smoothie-making bikes, the yummy food samples as well as the amazing vegan nachos along with all the tests that were offered like blood pressure, BMI, glucose and pH level tests. I loved the fact that I was able to speak to a doctor who agrees with fasting and other more holistic ways of living. All in all I will definitely come back next time. Well, in fact, I want to be part of it as I am working towards having my own health business.” Daniela P. (first time visitor)
“My kids just loved all the little furry animals to pat and painting on the wall. Everyone seemed happy and enthusiastic about being healthy.” JB (visitor)
“We want this again”, I heard by many who attended. So let’s work on the next one. I encourage all churches to try this avenue of outreach.
~ Susan Lausevic – AUC Health Department