Adventist Volunteers Share Health Education at VegFest

May 04, 2015 | Heidi Baumgartner

Adventist volunteer Elida Jerez looked at the blood pressure reading. It was much too high for the young woman in her mid-30s who sat across from her at a free health-screening station.

Jerez graciously shared the results and concerns with the young participant. “Do you believe in God?” Jerez asked. With an affirmative answer, Jerez next asked if she could pray. She prayed that God would give this young woman wisdom to make the right health choices and break bad habits.

“I asked God to help with her health and habits,” Jerez remembers. The young woman gave her a hug and thanked her for the prayer.

This moment was one of many interactions for the Adventist Church at VegFest, an annual two-day vegetarian food festival coordinated by Vegetarians of Washington and attended by 500 vendors and 15,000–17,000 guests.

Adventist volunteers from 12 churches including Tacoma, Kirkland, Lynnwood and Forest Park in Everett distributed the vegetarian food plate chart, handed out 900 free copies of Vibrant Life magazine, obtained 62 new Vibrant Life subscriptions, gave away 500 health and wellness sharing books, provided 420 free health screenings and added to the health education conversation. Loma Linda-trained medical doctors Chan Hwang and Deborah Winters offered health lectures, while Helmuth Fritz provided free health screenings throughout VegFest.

“Stuart Rose from Vegetarians of Washington enjoys working with Adventists because he feels like we’re on the same page with health,” says Kevin Wilfley, Washington Conference health ministries director. “The Adventist Church has a good reputation in health and wellness.”