ISJC News for Prayer and Thanksgiving
We thank God for his protection
over Lieut-Colonel Eirwen Pallant
and Major Victoria Edmonds during
their recent visits to Tanzania and
We pray for the South Asia Zonal
Conference to be held in Sri Lanka
in the first week of December, led
by the General. Lieut-Colonel Dean
Pallant is coordinating a team of
facilitators to work with the
territorial and command leaders.
Pray that this time of discussion
will strengthen God’s Army in
Please continue to pray for visas
for the ISJC interns. We continue
to have difficulties getting
approvals from US immigration
As we end the year, we thank God
for his faithfulness to us throughout
2015. While injustice remains and
appears to spread, we thank God
for the gift of Jesus – the Prince of
Peace, the King of Justice, the
Saviour of the World.
SDG 3 Targets
Global health targets for the next
15 years focus on the following:
- increasing maternal health;
- prevention of deaths of newborns and children under five years of age;
- ending epidemics of Aids, tuberculosis, malaria and neglected tropical diseases and combat hepatitis, water-borne diseases and other communicable and non communicable diseases;
- promoting mental health;
- strengthening the prevention and treatment of substance abuse, including narcotic drug abuse and harmful use of alcohol;
- reducing the number of global deaths and injuries from road traffic accidents;
- ensuring universal access to sexual and reproductive health-care services;
- promoting universal health coverage;
- providing access to quality essential health-care services and to safe, effective, quality and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all;
- reducing the number of deaths and illnesses from hazardous chemicals and air, water and soil pollution and contamination;
- strengthening the implementation of the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control in all countries, as appropriate;
- supporting research and development of vaccines and medicines for the communicable and non-communicable diseases that primarily affect developing countries;
- provision of access to affordable essential medicines and vaccines, and access to medicines for all;
- increasing health financing and the recruitment, development, training and retention of the health workforce in developing countries, especially in least developed countries and small island developing States
- strengthen the capacity of all countries, in particular developing countries, for early warning, risk reduction and management of national and global health risks
Ensuring Helathy lives and promoting well-being for all (at all ages) is essential to
sustainable development. The United Nations claims that, over the past 15 years,
significant strides have been made in increasing life expectancy and reducing some
of the common killers associated with child and maternal mortality. Progress has
been made in increasing access to clean water and sanitation, reducing malaria,
tuberculosis, polio and the spread of HIV/Aids. However, more effort is needed to
fully eradicate a wide range of diseases and address many persistent and emerging
health issues. Moreover, major disparity in the health status of the world’s
population in developing and developed areas still remains. The following examples
provide a glimpse of the health status of people around the world
- More than six million children still die before their fifth birthday each year. Four out of every five deaths of children under five occur in sub-Saharan Africa and southern Asia.
- Children born into poverty are almost twice as likely to die before the age of five as those from wealthier families.
- The proportion of mothers who do not survive childbirth compared to those who do is still 14 times higher in developing regions than in developed regions.
- Only half of women in developing regions receive the recommended amount of health care they need.
- At the end of 2013, there were an estimated 35 million people living with HIV (2.1 million adolescents).
- Globally, adolescent girls and young women continue to face gender-based inequalities, exclusion, discrimination and violence, which put them at increased risk of acquiring HIV.
- A prevalence of tuberculosis and malaria still exists in the world.
Obesity now presents as a major public health epidemic in both the developed and
the developing world. The worldwide prevalence of obesity more than doubled b
between 1980 and 2014. The following examples provide a glimpse of the
prevalence of obesity (http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs311/en/)
- 2.1 billion people – nearly 30 per cent of the world’s population – are either obese or overweight.
- 39 per cent of adults aged 18 years and over were overweight in 2014, and 13 per cent were obese.
- 42 million children under the age of five were overweight or obese in 2013.
Reflecting on Healthy Lives and Well-Being for All
The Bible rates health as being very important. John, in his third letter, writes to
Gaius: ‘Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well
with you, even as your soul is getting along well’ (3 John 2 New International
Version). As humans, our mind, spiritual nature and body are all interrelated and
interdependent. What affects one affects the other. If our bodies are misused, our
minds and spiritual natures cannot become what God ordained they should.
Paul, in his letter to the church in Rome, writes about placing our lives before God:
‘So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life
– your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life – and place it before
God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do
for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without
even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside
out. Readily recognise what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the
culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings
the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you’
(Romans 12:1-2 The Message).
There is a strong sense that our bodies belong to God. Paul also writes: ‘Do you not
know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have
from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price.
Therefore, glorify God in your body’ (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
The health and wellness of the entire person was central to the message and
ministry of Jesus. It continued through the Early Church and is still central today.
This message remains unchanged. God loves us and cares about our spirit, soul
and body. He desires that we love others as we love ourselves. This includes caring
for ourselves and our bodies – the temple of the Holy Spirit.
As we journey through life, we can ask ourselves a number of questions to help
move us to the right perspective. How does ignoring health and wellness, either
spiritual or physical or mental, impact our ability to be a good witness to others; our
ability to glorify, minister and serve God? One of the ways we can glorify God is by
following a lifestyle and behaviour as far as possible that produces health and
wellness rather than choosing to walk down a path leading to disease and sickness.
Practically speaking, as we care for our bodies, we are more likely to remain active
in serving God and others. Maybe we need a health plan!
Reflecting for action and prayer
Please take time to read the focus of the targets (in the left-hand column)
associated with this goal and pray that God will equip and empower people, corps
and the international Church to take action as they aim to promote healthy lives and
well-being for all. May we do what we can to assist others to achieve this; but may
we also ensure that we concern ourselves with personal health and wellness.
Specific Prayer Topics
- Pray for those people who are suffering and that hearts may be softened so solutions can be generated and health and other resources can be shared.
- Do we have a plan to achieve and maintain personal physical health and wellness? Have you prayed about it?
- What is your plan for wellness? Is it now, never or on your priority list? Are you still thinking about making a change in your lifestyle that would lead to better physical or mental health? Can you pray about it?
- Do we maintain habits that we know are unhealthy and eventually lead to weight gain, low energy, premature disease – even contradicting Scripture?