The virtual spring meeting held April 16-17 featured multiple ASI Lake Union members sharing their health journey.

April 23, 2021

ASI Lake Union spring meeting spotlights health

With the backdrop of a pandemic, the Lake Union chapter of Adventist Laymen’s Services and Industries (ASI) hosted a virtual spring fellowship April 16-17 focused on health and wellness.  

The weekend themed “Faith not Fear” kicked off on Friday evening with the testimony of Chef Chew, owner of Something Better Foods. He shared how he used food and nutrition to bring people to Christ through The Veg Hub, a center of influence in Oakland, Calif. His plant-based protein, Better Chew, focuses on accessibility to healthy alternatives in all neighborhoods.  

On Sabbath morning, mental health professional Magna Porterfield, Ph.D., discussed how our thoughts can bring us from illness to wellness, as they affect our emotions, mental functioning, physical health, relationships, and spiritual life. David DeRose, MD, MPH, offered the message and pointed to Biblical principles as a foundation for peace and health. He highlighted the importance of the health message in furthering the good news of the Three Angels’ Message. 

On Sabbath afternoon, Rico Hill shared his testimony of working in secular media for 20 years, including time at Nickelodeon and Turner Broadcasting. He has since launched Beehive International, an organization that combines health education and humanitarian aid to develop relationships and reveal Christ’s love in practical ways. His 3ABN Dare to Dream show “From Sickness to Health” approaches health topics by addressing multiple points of view.  

Multiple ASI members shared their health journey, including Carmelo Mercado, the General Vice President of the Lake Union Conference. He spoke about how the Adventist church is blessed with the health message, but we often struggle to apply it to our lives. The COVID-19 pandemic was a wakeup call to use Adventist health principles to get his health in order, resulting in drastic improvements in his bloodwork results.  

The weekend wrapped up with a lively interview of Wes Youngberg, MD. He left us with helpful actionable tips, such as walking after meals, to help us lead a healthier lifestyle each day.  

The power-packed presentations are available to view on YouTube.
The power-packed presentations are available to view on YouTube.


The offering collected at this event will support six ministries within our union: 

ASAP Ministries is reaching Karen refugees in Rockford, Illinois and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Bible studies, home visitations, and assisting new arrivals with humanitarian needs allows them to build relationships that bring people to Christ.  

Care for Cuba, a ministry from the Andrews University Seminary, equips pastors and lay workers in Cuba with training and materials. Cuba is going through the greatest crisis in decades due to COVID-19, and people are scrambling to find food and medicine. The in-land Care for Cuba project coordinator reports that food prices have tripled during the last year and people need to make their $25 dollars a month salary stretch. The offering will help provide support to pastors and Bible workers. 

FARM STEW is supporting a fishermen community of about 700 people in Entebbe, Uganda. The fishermen live on the edge of Lake Victoria but due to several restrictions and the political climate, are not allowed to fish. Hence, they have no way to make a living and are barely surviving.  They obtain their water from badly polluted Lake Victoria and have one latrine with 4 stalls for the entire village. FARM STEW training is being used to help the people raise kitchen gardens, establish tippy taps and latrines and rubbish pits, and begin some sort of enterprise.  

Harbor of Hope, an outreach ministry of the Pioneer Memorial Church on the campus of Andrews University, is leading a two-week holistic evangelism initiative. The RISE UP Challenge hopes to lead people to Jesus and introduce them to the Seventh-day Adventist Church.  

Oak Haven Health in Pullman, Michigan is creating a lifestyle program at their facility. The offering will help to renovate existing space into a fitness room and add a hot and cold contrast shower for hydrotherapy.

Strong Tower Radio, a network of stations in Michigan and Illinois, provides radio and television programming that teaches the truth about the character of God. New equipment will enable them to record interviews at Camp Au Sable for radio broadcasts, podcasts, and more. 

You can get the full experience of the weekend by watching the replays on YouTube. Visit if you would like to learn more about these projects or help support them. The ASI international convention will be held in Orlando from August 4 to 7, 2021. If you’re interested in brainstorming with like-minded individuals, expanding your network, or finding tools and inspiration to share Christ in your career, you can register at

Kathleen Morrissy, ASI Lake Union Communication director.