By Dr. Maxine Newell
On the morning of October 21, 2023, a mild-mannered, soft-spoken man, Torben Bergland, MD, stepped into AIU church’s pulpit. His presence belied the power of the message he delivered. He took us back to the General Conference meetings of April 1901 and share with us “Ellen White’s Vision of Comprehensive Health Ministry.”
The foundation of her message to the church leaders, over 120 years ago, was Isaiah 61:1-4. Dr. Bergland suggested it remains the foundation of the work of the SDA church. What that work should have looked like back then, and what it should look like now is:
“The Lord wants you to make the most of the capabilities that He is using in every part of the work. He does not want the medical missionary work separated from the gospel work, nor the gospel work separated from the medical missionary work. He wants them to build up together, and He wants that this, the educating power of the medical missionary work, should be considered as the pioneer work, the breaking-up plow, the breaking down of prejudice that has existed; and nothing will break it down like it.” (16LtMs, Ms 43a, 1901, par. 30).