Praise God from whom all blessings flow. GMSM teamed up with Ft. Walton Beach dentist Dr. Tony Clark, his assistant Scott Shepard, Tony’s sons Logan and Luke and Shaun Ellis and headed down to Mexico for a dental clinic. Scott wrote a great report posted below. It was his first mission, and he was fired up to serve.
We did our first ever clinic in the colonias at Pastor Felipe’s church and a clinic over in Casa Hogar Elim orphanage. What a blessing it was to be able to supply some physical help to some hurting people. Between the colonia and Casa Hogar Elim, Tony and Scott saw more than 60 adults and children with at least 40 tooth extractions, fillings and cleanings.
We hardly scratched the surface on meeting dental needs down here, but praise God we were able to help many in the name of Christ.
With so much happening in Haiti and as our preparation begins to start for our relief effort there, I thank God he allowed us the time to continue the ministry down here. As we were preparing to leave, Felipe told me not to worry about them, that we are fine, Haiti needs us more now than we do, that we should spend this year down there.
It is wonderful to see a guy like Pastor Felipe, who the world sees as insignificant, truly gets it. We should all take a close look at ourselves and have the same wonderful, selfless attitude as Pastor Felipe.
Jan. 15-18 Mexico dental clinic
—- Report from Scott Shepard —-
Mission teams are departing for the devastation in Haiti as our mission team leaves Mexico this morning; body and soul refreshed by the Holy Spirit. We were blessed with a mission that brought the love of Jesus to both Casa Hogar orphanage and the church of “Mision Bautista Nuevo Camina” in a nearby colonia.
The colonias are Nuevo Laredo neighborhoods of makeshift shelters inhabited by the most impoverished families. Dr. Tony Clark and his family have been supporting the Casa Hogar mission since 1999. Last summer Tony felt a calling to share his blessings as a dentist in Ft Walton Beach, Florida with Mrs. Lupita’s children in the orphanage. The dental ministry has been such a tremendous blessing to Casa Hogar that an outreach mission into the colonias was planned for 2010. With a crew of four and the assistance of many in Nuevo Laredo, Kenny Phillips acted as the liaison for this first trip outside the walls of Casa Hogar. Saturday the mission set up our dental clinic in the sanctuary of Camina Nueva, using pews to seat our patients and a desk chair elevated on cinder blocks to evaluate and treat our patients.
During the day and into the evening, residents of the colonias walked dirt roads to visit “los dentistas” in the church of Nueva Camina. We were blessed to take care of 23 patients, in all removing 28 teeth from people in real pain. Five patients required extensive surgery. In cases like Paulina, who was so badly disabled by tooth decay, ten teeth were removed to ease her pain and prevent a life threatening infection.
Sunday morning our makeshift dental clinic returned to Casa Hogar; where a previous mission team had prepared a much more permanent facility. Medical examination tables, a dental chair and good lighting were only part of our blessings this Sunday. Doctor Tony soon trained several of the children to assist in delivering bottled water and suction from an air compressor and shop-vac during the exams with simple request for “aqua y suctionnes.”
During the morning, we provided very simple dental cleaning, fluoride treatments and cavity evaluation to 48 of the orphanage children. After lunch, we returned to treat those at risk of permanent damage with fillings and in three more cases, teeth that needed to be pulled. While it was heart wrenching for us to remove four teeth from five year old Lupita, she was resting comfortably just a few hours later. A new smile will return in the next few days, a happy sight for the older girls that have seen the sad, sad face of a baby sister crying from the pain of four toothaches. As the children helped break down the backpack dentistry equipment, each one with a toothbrush and toothpaste in their pocket…they repeated our advice frequently. Brush your teeth and pray every night, “todos las noches!”
Father God, thank you so much for Logan and Luke, Doctor Tony’s sons and Mr Shaun Ellis. Their assistance in setting up and putting away the equipment was only surpassed in testimony by their interaction with the children and staff of Casa Hogar. Doctor Tony, your healing gift and discernment to invite me on this trip are living testimony to the power of faith in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. May God be with Kenny as he prepares for a relief ministry to our brothers and sisters in Haiti.
In His Name,