CONTINUING TO SERVE, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, MAY, 2022
It has been a sincere joy this year to resume DCF international mission trips. We all trust that covid concerns will continue to subside and not cause future disruptions in our lives such as what we have experienced for the past 2 years.
After weeks of uncertainty associated with obtaining official approval from the Ministry of Health, God provided and the team departed on May 7th. Rules frequently change in the countries which we visit and this was the case with the Dominican trip. Lots of prayer and a rush to provide last minute paperwork satisfied new requirements for visiting healthcare teams.
The makeup of the team included nine MUSC students from 3 different classes along with six graduate dentists as well as the helpers. DCF could not serve without lots of volunteer support. What a joy that it was to see the students gain invaluable clinical experience being coached by a team dentist. All of them learned so much and came away from the trip encouraged not only by the dentistry which they learned, but also by the mentoring which they received.
The site for this particular trip was unique because of the clinic being held inside a large, overcrowded prison. The majority of our patients were strong young men. Fortunately the decay rate was relatively low, and their hygiene was pretty good. However, their teeth were very strong which made for some difficult extractions.
One of the many highlights of the week was the connection that we made with the team participants from our host church. Dr. Bill has worked with them before during GHO trips, but this was the first opportunity for DCF to partner with these lovely brothers and sisters in the Lord. They did an amazing job of helping support our efforts with setup, ministry support, crowd management, and interpretation.
Over 500 patients received treatment for restorative needs, oral hygiene/prevention, optical/reading glasses, and removal of painful teeth. Many left with dental issues having been addressed. On the other hand, many of the inmates reported having long prison sentences. Those issues we could not help, however, in spite of being incarcerated those in Christ could experience an internal freedom beyond understanding.
DCF needs more dentists to mentor students on future trips so please consider helping in the future. We will be going back to Honduras in September, Nicaragua in October, and Ecuador next March, 2023.
Thanks for your interest, prayers, and financial support of DCF.