Who isn’t just a bit leary of the dentist appointment on your calendar? Things come up…it can always be rescheduled. Because sometimes the trip the dentist is going to hurt…a little or a lot. Even knowing it will all be better in the end doesn’t really help that much when you’re facing a tooth being pulled, a cavity getting filled or just some random drilling!
I spent today at the dental clinic. Robin’s ministry as a dentist (he is our team member from Columbia United Methodist Church) was amazing to witness. Jeanne assisted him with great ease, obviously enjoying her “once a year” role as a dental assistant. We treated 35 patients today…pulled over 50 teeth and filled 12 cavities or so. Kids lined up from early morning until late afternoon…brave…strong…and then screaming. We held their hands and prayed for their courage. We sang in the waiting room and I learned more spanish. We met many amazing children.
The man who is at the clinic each day, Angel, worked the front desk with mucho hospitality. We would take the patients back in fours. Numb them up, set them in the waiting room, then one by one they would come into the chair for whatever was needed.
The people here need dental care very badly, as you might imagine. Getting teeth pulled is one of their approaches to dental care, while ours would be more about prevention. The courage displayed by the kids….immeasurable.
Construction continued through a hot day and VBS was loved by the 6 year olds…again, well over 100. Tomorrow we will have teenagers and I am so excited to be thinking of them tonight. Chester has assisted me in understanding the struggles of the Latin American teen….much of the same as ours, but also cultural things we do not have to deal with because of the development, freedom and privileges we enjoy as Americans. I am learning so much each day that humbles me, blesses me and adds more joy to my spirit. Sometimes, I wonder how many amazing things one person can experience in a day. Today, at this late hour (given a long day) it seems like 100’s. God is faithful. Prayers are being answered. Including discovery of how to get some clothes washed tomorrow!
And Mom, thank you for being a caring, spiritual and amazing dental hygienist. I knew it was important for God’s healing touch on many mouths, but today I have a whole new perspective of the HUGE opportunity for ministry when you meet someone in need, pain and fear.
For All, say “thank you” for the gifts of your dentist and his/her caring assistants. Go to your hygienist and take care of your mouths…for out of these mouths can come the blessings of God!