Dental Clinic: Day 3

By Todd Fincher

Our final day with our Dental health care friends from New York and Michigan began today and it was bittersweet, their kindness allowing our team to blend with them to be stronger than we would have been alone has been such a blessing. We said goodbye, looking forward to meeting them again to do God's work.

Today took us deep into the countryside to Batey Campo Nuevo, a relatively small area physically, but densely populated-extremely poor. Today's dental team consisted of Mary Holly Lott, Kaity Box, Airston Small, Lauren MacLean, and myself. We worked in a one room, open air, elementary school classroom with another view of the mountains that was breathtaking. Again, it was transformed into a twelve chair dental clinic that was elbow to elbow in working spaceā€”a spectacle to behold!

All of the team members contributed so much today, no one more than Lauren. Not only does she speak Spanish creole, the rural dialect, she was the first to strike in dental extractions. I had barely numbed the first patient and she was extracting front teeth with one of the doctors. Lauren was also priceless as an interpreter and worked tirelessly throughout the day. As I look back on God's providence, I can easily see Him placing Lauren in Greenwood in preparation for this mission trip.

Kaity and Airston began in sterilization, cleaning hundreds of instruments, in a dim, two-windowed, hot room, saying only, "We'll do whatever you need." After lunch, they both assisted a student and myself in multiple procedures. Both performed third molar dental extractions, gave local anesthesia, and sewed extraction sites.

Mary Holly began her day in dental hygiene, teaching countless of children how to brush properly  giving them toothbrushes and toothpaste. She was also a warrior in sterilization, working in the "hotbox" to turn over countless instruments. After lunch, she gave local anesthesia and extracted teeth with me. She saved the best for last, "schooling" the locals in soccer! What I learned about all four of these women is the same thing, they are fearless and serve the living God with a passion that is inspiring.

So we end the dental portion of the mission trip today with the knowledge that God has protected us in our travels to the bateys, that we have been able to serve some of His children and our brothers and sisters, and that we have received much more than we have given.

"For he who waits on the Lord shall gain new strength, he shall mount up like wings on eagles, he shall run and not tire, he shall walk and not be weary." To God be the Glory.