Life Colours Health Seminar
On the afternoon of Sabbath 29th July, the Bristol churches came together, to work towards a common goal. That of reaching out and serving the community, by following Jesus’ example – mingling, desiring their good, showing sympathy, and ministering to their needs, by holding a Life Colours Health Seminar on Lifestyle Diseases. In attendance were over 200 people, with approximately 50 non-members from the community.
Organised by the Bristol Joint Evangelism Committee, the event featured two presentations on lifestyle diseases by Dr Chidi Ngwaba, SEC Health Ministries Director, at the Bristol City Council City Hall, a prestigious venue in the heart of Bristol.
The event was designed to showcase the church’s health message, in partnership with the City Council and a number of other health and wellbeing organisations. It followed on from a health event at the Bristol Race for Life at the beginning of the month.
Dr Chidi’s first presentation focused on Diabetes, Obesity and Diet, and highlighted the links between the typical western diet and a number of lifestyle diseases, particularly Type 2 diabetes, which can then lead to a number of other illnesses and disorders.
The second session, covered cancer and stress, and how the more animal fat and protein in your diet, especially from milk, the greater the risk of cancer. Dr Chidi then went on to identify the positive changes which can be made to help prevent cancer, such as the benefits of a change in diet, regular exercise, Vitamin D3, and managing stress and emotional health.
The latter was a particularly interesting factor, as he explained that even if you were on the best diet, but you still harboured bitterness and anger, you could still be vulnerable. Dr Chidi explained how stress can negatively affect our health, and by following Christian principles, such as love for God and love for others, we can improve our health and avoid a number of lifestyle diseases. Dr Chidi used the example of Forgiveness. Dr Chidi said “One of the most difficult tasks you may do in your life, is to learn to forgive people who have hurt you, and even help people who have hurt you”, but if you don’t, that bitterness and anger can seriously harm you.
After each presentation, took questions from the audience on questions ranging from the use of herbal teas, to recent research about the benefits of drinking alcohol. Full of humorous but informative stories, and challenging facts, the audience were completely captivated. One attendee, Samuel Holkar, was particularly impressed and said he had “learnt a lot”, and agreed that “events like this are very important to raise awareness”.
The programme also included a talk by Naomi Watson, a cancer survivor who shared her story of how she declined the use of conventional chemo and radio cancer therapies, after a mastectomy, and instead trained in health and nutrition and now has been cancer free for ten years. She now promotes healthy living through a holistic approach to make small changes in lifestyle, to improve wellbeing and fight lifestyle induced diseases.
The sessions were complemented by two practical food demonstrations by Angelette Muller, who showed how to prepare wholegrains and plant milk from various nuts and seeds, for a nutritious and healthy breakfast. These were very well received by the attendees.
Also in attendance, were over 15 other organisations who operated stalls associated with health and wellbeing. Some of these included the Well Spring Healthy Living Centre, Health Watch, Prostate Cancer, and Everyone Active, allowing visitors to access a wide range of services and advice. After the seminar, many of these participants complimented the church and its efforts, and asked to be included in future events, and invited the church to attend events they were running.
In addition to the stalls by the partner organisations, stations were also set up for health checks, vegetarian food tasters, juicing demonstrations and samples. Vegetarian and vegan food tasters, were also given out at lunchtime, and were particularly popular, along with fresh fruit, homemade houmous and vegetable samples.
Outside the venue, as a way to attract people to come in, Evan Green from Newport set up his smoothie bike, and a number of passers-by, after trying the smoothies, were invited in and stayed and enjoyed the presentations. One young student who passed by, was very interested in what the church believed, and was given a goody bag with The Great Controversy, Ministry of Healing and other material, and an invitation to attend a church service.
In line with the South England Conference strategy for this year, to build connections and partnerships with the community, BJEC had developed an excellent relationship with Dr Carole Johnson, a councillor on the City Council. She had supported the church’s efforts to meet the needs of the physical, mental and spiritual needs of the community, and was keen to encourage the work of the church. As a thank you for her support, she was given a bouquet of flowers, and she said in her speech “It’s very important for us to work together with the community. It was a real breakthrough to have you come along and share. I am really looking forward to working with you in the future”.
Speaking after the event about the overriding message of his presentations, Dr Chidi said that “Hope is key, and health and healing come from hope, and the fundamental basis of that hope is Jesus Christ. If you want to avoid the stress that leads to all these diseases, it’s understanding that Jesus died for your sins. You then don’t have to hold onto the bitterness and coldness. You can live free, and that freedom helps you to forgive, be happy and have joy, which is the heart of health”.
Among the main organisers from BJEC, were Mary Philip and Albert Gardiner, who had devoted a huge amount of time and effort to put the programme together. Albert said after the event was over, that he was “Really pleased with the outcome and the feedback received on the seminars, food demonstrations and exhibition stands, which were well received. It just showed that people were really interested in how to improve their health, and people were taking information to follow up at future programmes”.
Also in attendance, was Area 2 District Co-ordinator, Pastor Namushi Namuchana, who related a conversation he had with one of the attendees, who offered to help with the advertising, as she felt that the community needs such information, not only for the sake of the information, but also to realise that there is a God who is concerned about our health. He then went on to say that “the church’s approach should be two pronged. As much as we tell them about the physical, we need to remind them about the God which has created these fantastic bodies”.
All agreed that this event built on the work already done in Bristol, and was another good step forward in the mission to reach our communities, meet their needs, and introduce them to Christ.
On behalf of Bristol Joint Evangelism Committee
A selection of photographs, taken by Nelson Khonje, are available at