Friday, October 19, 2012

An afternoon at the dental clinic...

Dear friends,

As I write this, we are in the middle of a dental clinic. The patient is getting a full extraction, which literally means that the dentist is removing every single one of her teeth. She's not that old, friends - this breaks my heart.

And yet I am overwhelmed. First, I am amazed at the kindness of the volunteering dentist. This patient was understandably nervous, and he was so compassionate as he talked her through the procedure and gently explained everything he was doing. SHE has his attention, not just the teeth he is extracting.

And second, this patient still has the option of a full set of dentures. Anyone with dentures can tell you that they aren't ideal, but they are vastly better than a mouth filled with painful, useless teeth. One day, this patient WILL smile again. (And she'll never have to worry about cavities again!)

Our dental clinic has been open since February, and this has been and continues to be a learning year. For me, the biggest challenge is how to cope with the many names of people who need help now but won't get it for months. What do we tell them? All we can do is be compassionate, kind, and do our best to get to their name as soon as we can.

And we remember that every patient we help is someone who is getting the assistance they need. That is God's miracle for us - one person at a time.



PS- In the same clinic, another patient canceled, leaving the chair empty. It is a big challenge trying to fill a chair at the last minute! But praise God, we found were able to find a patient right away. She has been on the waiting list since May and was so excited to get our call! Praise God!