Since the establishment of the Seventh-day Adventist Welfare Service (SAWS) in 1956, the Adventist Church has continually prioritized humanitarian aid and community development.
Today, Adventist humanitarian work reaches into more than 120 countries and serves tens of millions of people every year. This priority springs from a deeply held belief in service. Throughout the Old Testament, God made provision for the poor and less fortunate living in Israel. In the New Testament, the writings of the apostle Paul show a Christian church that gave willingly and generously to support the needy among them. (Deuteronomy 15:1-11, 2 Corinthians 8:8-15)
Our world is full of wars, natural disasters, poverty and famines, and we are motivated to reach out to the suffering in the name of Jesus. Our faith inspires us to show Christ’s love to the world around us. Faith expressed by action may require sacrifice, but it is only by selflessly serving others that we become a true reflection of Christ.
Our active faith is expressed personally in daily service to those around us and corporately in humanitarian organizations such as the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) and Adventist Community Services (ACS). For Adventists, it is not enough to acknowledge that poverty exists. We must live a life in which the grace God has given us flows on to others in the form of love, care and generosity. (Matthew 25:31-45)