The West Bay Seventh-day Adventist Church significantly impacted the local community as they hosted the much-anticipated Children’s Health Expo 2023. The event occurred on the church grounds at 279 West Church Street, West Bay, Grand Cayman. It aimed to promote healthy lifestyles among children and their families while fostering spiritual connections.
The event attracted 74 children who registered via punch cards, leading to the distribution of 94 gift bags. Notably, 50 children visited the oral health station, and 29 received vision screenings. Six families received speech therapy, and 43 adults benefited from health screenings and medical advice. Additionally, 11 individuals sought and received spiritual support through prayer.
The Children’s Health Expo 2023 was born out of the vision of Sister Madeline Ebanks, a medical missionary and the wife of First Elder Billy Ebanks. The concept was initially conceived during Sister Madeline’s participation in the Health Promoters’ Training hosted by the Atlantic and Caribbean Union (ATCU) in April 2021. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the event could not take place at the time, but the idea of hosting an expo primarily for children remained, paving the way for this remarkable event.
Empowering the Youth
The program kicked off with a warm welcome from Pastor Andrew Campbell, Vice President of the Cayman Islands Conference (CIC) and the Pastor of the West Bay Seventh-day Adventist Church. Dr. Ivor Harry, President of the Cayman Islands Conference, also graced the occasion with words of encouragement, expressing the Conference’s commitment to supporting events focused on youth outreach.
Sister Melissa Smith, Children’s Ministries Director of the Cayman Islands Conference, opened the event with prayer, followed by Sister Sashoy Duncan, Health Ministries Director of the Cayman Islands Conference, who delivered inspiring opening remarks. Sister Hazel Fletcher, Health Ministries Director of the ATCU, officially declared the West Bay SDA Church Children’s Health Expo 2023 open.
The Children’s Health Expo featured activities centred around the Eight Health Laws, designed to engage and educate children aged 5 to 15. Stations covered nutrition, exercise, water, sunlight, temperance, air, rest, and trust, providing children with interactive lessons on healthy living. A Puzzle Station and a Book/Storytelling Station allowed children to explore books and stories aligned with Adventist beliefs while promoting the West Bay Church.
Children also had the opportunity to receive vision and oral health screenings, as well as speech therapy. For their participation, attendees received gifts tailored to their station of choice.
Delicious and Wholesome Nutrition
The Nutrition and Exercise/Games stations proved to be a hit among the young attendees. Wholesome, homemade foods were offered, including lentil burgers, avocado sandwiches, fruit smoothies, and more. No processed foods were on the menu, reinforcing the event’s commitment to healthy living.
Various games and activities kept children active and entertained throughout the day, from sack races to ring toss and hula hoops.
Supporting the Whole Family
Parents and guardians were included; they had access to blood pressure, cholesterol, glucose, BMI screenings, consultations from a medical doctor, and lifestyle assessments by trained medical missionaries. A dedicated Prayer Station provided spiritual support, offering prayer and an opportunity to submit private prayer requests.
The day’s events ended with a storytelling session, a mental health presentation, and a puppet show emphasizing healthy habits. Sister Shelly-Anne Cupid, Health Ministries Leader of the West Bay Church, delivered a heartfelt vote of thanks, followed by closing remarks from Pastor Andrew Campbell. Elder Billy Ebanks, First Elder of the West Bay Church, concluded the event with a closing prayer.
The West Bay Seventh-day Adventist Church expresses gratitude for the abundant blessings of this event and eagerly anticipates hosting future Children’s Health Expos. By spreading the health message and fostering connections with children and their families, the church remains committed to its mission of bringing people closer to Jesus.
Submitted by: Shelly-Anne Cupid, Health Ministries Leader, West Bay Church. Written by Devarro Whittaker, Associate Television Producer