Bracknell, United Kingdom—A group of ten people traveled from Newbold College to volunteer at the migrant refugee camp in Dunkirk, France, on Sunday, November 29, 2015.
“We are reminded daily in the news and via social media of the awful plight of the migrant refugees fleeing their homes to seek safety,” stated Pastor Alastair Agbaje, Newbold chaplain. “Our purpose was to reach out in a practical way to a group of people who are in desperate need of food, clothes, and other aid.”
The team, which included seven students, distributed goods that had been donated for the trip, including sleeping bags, clothing, towels, blankets, toiletries, and food, to some of the approximately 2,000 migrants currently living in the camp at Dunkirk.
“The camp is almost literally on our doorstep, just a two-hour ferry ride away, and this was a big motivation in terms of our decision to help out,” said Pastor Agbaje.
“The moment I heard Newbold was looking into working with ADRA France to give aid to one of the refugee camps, I practically begged to go,” said Sharon Louise, Newbold student chaplain, and one of the student volunteers who participated in the trip. “Something about the thought of all those people walking for days, weeks, or even months to find safety had been haunting me. The reality of the camp was worse than can be put into words.”
The camp at Dunkirk was established with just 60 migrants, and the numbers are now near 2,000. “I was encouraged by the number of donations we received for this trip,” said Agbaje. “When my next-door neighbor heard I would be traveling to the camp, he donated £200 of goods, including sleeping bags, waterproof clothing, and fruit, and has pledged further support for our next planned trip. This highlighted to me that community want to get involved.”
Seventh-day Adventists reaffirm commitment to preserving the environment. Encourage all members to be good stewards.
Silver Spring, Maryland, United States—As world leaders gathered in Paris for the 21st United Nations Climate Change Conference November/December 2015, the Seventh-day Adventist Church supported and applauded the efforts of these leaders to come to an agreement to stem the deterioration of our earth due to climate change.
The Seventh-day Adventist Church has long supported responsible stewardship of all God has created and reinforces its belief that we all need to be responsible for the resources He has given us. As early as 1995 the church issued an official statement on the environment. The statement reads as follows:
“Seventh-day Adventists believe that humankind was created in the image of God, thus representing God as His stewards, to rule the natural environment in a faithful and fruitful way.
“Unfortunately, corruption and exploitation have been brought into the management of the human domain of responsibility. Increasingly, men and women have been involved in a megalomaniacal destruction of the earth’s resources, resulting in widespread suffering, environmental disarray, and the threat of climate change. While scientific research needs to continue, it is clear from the accumulated evidence that the increasing emission of destructive gasses, the depletion of the protective mantel of ozone, the massive destruction of the American forests, and the so-called greenhouse effect, are all threatening the earth’s eco-system.
“These problems are largely due to human selfishness and the egocentric pursuit of getting more and more through ever-increasing production, unlimited consumption, and depletion of nonrenewable resources. The ecological crisis is rooted in humankind’s greed and refusal to practice good and faithful stewardship within the divine boundaries of creation.
“Seventh-day Adventists advocate a simple, wholesome lifestyle, where people do not step on the treadmill of unbridled consumerism, goods-getting, and production of waste. We call for respect of creation, restraint in the use of the world’s resources, reevaluation of one’s needs, and reaffirmation of the dignity of created life.”
We support the efforts of world leaders and all humankind to protect and respect that which has been created by God and entrusted to us. [ANN Staff]