Our ministry friends are intent on taking God's glory to the ends of the earth. They have chosen health care as a means to help their fellow countrymen, and they take the Good News with them as they go. They began at the end of the road and are working their way more and more remote. To serve the more remote areas, they must hike. Hike many days, through jungles, leech-infested rivers, and precarious terrain.
But this is their goal. And their purpose. Each of the people we trained is prepared to make sacrifices. They see things differently than the Americans who came to implement training! Discomfort is part of their daily routine. They lead simple lifestyles, minus many of the conveniences that the Western world takes for granted. And yet, they have a joy that is so genuine and so deep that it makes my heart ache for their simplicity.
Our team of six was prepared for an adventure. Little did we know that three of the team members would be denied visas! Our small team traveled 42 hours to reach our partner. In the past five years, we have trained 17 workers from this ministry in dental extraction. All of the students are still using their dental skills to serve others.
We trained four new extraction students and four dental hygiene students. We brought 1600 pairs of reading glasses and trained everyone to dispense them. We taught water safety and distributed 11 water filter systems that can serve a whole compound. We also brought blood pressure cuffs and stethoscopes for the outposts, as well as Cavity Arrestors, so that they can treat small cavities to prevent them from growing into toothaches and abscesses.
Additionally, we brought two dozen prosthetic hands, donated by another ministry. By the time we arrived, our partner had generated a list of eight people who were known to need the hands. One gentleman came from two days walking distance... he needed two hands. Our partner had done his homework and was able to expertly apply the hands and show the man how to use them.
Once again, God did more than we could have ever asked or imagined.