Volunteering is something people do to give back to the community and feel good about that effort at the same time. A documentary by an award-winning northern Virginia filmmaker, called The Adventists 2, focuses on how an entire Christian denomination combines its faith and commitment to health in their global humanitarian projects.
A screening took place October 5 at the Sligo Seventh-day Adventist Church in Takoma Park, M.D. but the documentary will be shown on public television stations. For a list of broadcast times in Maryland, click here.
“The first film did super well,” said Martin Doblmeier, the filmmaker and founder of Journey Films. “Adventists are a small denomination, about one million in the United States. The film surprised a lot of people about how Adventists live a healthy lifestyle,” he said. “The second film is a logical extension of the first.”
Mission trips highlighted in the documentary include volunteer work at hospitals in developing countries, where many surgeries are performed pro-bono, according to the film. Many of the patients are children who, otherwise, would not be able to afford such surgeries.
Doblmeier hopes people who watch the film are left with a feeling of inspiration. “I hope there’s some level of inspiration to care for the stranger and to hold them and heal them,” he said. “It’s an act of human selflessness, it clearly transcends religion. I want people to say, ‘Aren’t they wonderful people, what they’re doing?”
"A real eye opener was the magnitude of the overall Adventist mission for community service," said Jarrett Smith, who was in the audience at the October 5 screening. "It is amazing how large the mission is and how far it reaches. This movie was very educational," he said.
According to the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, “Adventists believe that Christian life includes spiritual and physical health,” so many Seventh-day Adventists are involved in the promotion of health. “Seventh-day Adventists are involved in providing betterment for all human beings and especially reaching out to provide practical help to those affected by disaster or those requiring development assistance,” according to the church’s statements on mission and service.
In terms of general health, many Adventists are vegetarian. A study published in June in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found that people with vegetarian diets live longer than those who eat meat. More than 70,000 members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church took part in the study for nearly six years.