We recognize that not everyone will recognize all the references we make to various organizations or understand certain terms that may be used in the blog. So I thought we would add a “Definitions” page to help explain some of these. This will be a dynamic page as I will add items as they come up. Please e-mail me if I miss a definition that should be included. I will also include a link if possible.

Adventist Health International (AHI) – is a management organization committed to partnering with health care organizations in developing countries. It is based in Loma Linda California and utilizes the health care understanding, strength and commitment of the Seventh-day Adventist Church to mobilize expertise, personnel, and other resources to promote quality health for all. Koza Adventist Hospital is just one of many mission hospitals that AHI works with and supports.

AMALF-“Association Médicale Adventiste de Langue Francaise. This is an association of Francophone (French speaking) health professionals (nurses, doctors, lab techs, dieticians, psychologists, etc) who have formed an SDA humanitarian organization that supports mission work in French speaking countries as well as locally in France, Belgium and Switzerland. They have a Congress each year where they get together and have a scientific program, and a good time fellowshipping together.

General Conference (GC) – is the governing body of the world-wide Seventh-day Adventist Church (see Seventh-day Adventist Church below). The GC headquarters are in Columbia, Maryland, just outside Washington, DC. The GC oversees the Adventist work in 209 of the 232 UN recognized countries of the world. The world is divided into 13 divisions which report to the GC. It operates an extensive medical work, educational system, from kindergarten to post graduate doctoral work, and printing presses around the world. Koza Hospital is owned by the Cameroon Adventist Union Mission, which is part of the West African Division.

Institute of World Missions (IWM) – this is a three week intensive course held three times a year in various countries around the world. All SDA cross cultural missionaries around the world are required to attend at the beginning of their mission service and every 10 years. During the three weeks the missionaries are taught about culture and how to minister in cultures other than your own, culture shock and how to deal with it. We are given tips on maintaining spiritual, physical and mental health, conflict resolution and so on. It is a packed three weeks. During that time the missionaries form a unique bond that lasts the rest of their lives. Three terms we are taught:

Bekki enjoying ice cream on our ethnographic study field trip.

Bekki enjoying ice cream on our ethnographic study field trip.

Ethnographic Study is a way to find out everything you can about a town or neighborhood, find out what its culture is, what the values are, how things work.

Contextualization is putting something in the context of a local culture. For instance a joke in one culture is not funny in another because there is no context for it, so the joke has to be retold in a way that is meaningful and funny in the new culture.

Syncretism is when a group of people adopt something new but retain the meaning and power of their former belief. An example is when new Christians worship the Creator God, but also hold on to their ancestral gods.

Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) – is a worldwide body of Protestant Christians who believe in salvation by grace through faith in Jesus. We believe in and follow the principals of the entire Bible, Old and New Testaments. As of June, 2011 there were over 17,200,000 baptized members in the church. That number continues to increase daily. Koza Adventist Hospital is a Seventh-day Adventist Hospital.

One thought on “Definitions

  1. Ortega’s story gave me flashbacks to my years in PICU at Maricopa County Med center. Even with TPN and lipids we couldn’t save them. God surely is with you and saved Ortega for some great purpose.

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