Several weeks ago we held a sweet celebration in recognition of the 20 years since the DCF was founded. It was great to reconnect with team participants from both recent as well as long ago trips. It’s neat to share the bond that we feel from having given our time in service to others.
I hate to admit that I have forgotten how many times that we have served in Honduras! It was one of the countries where I was first introduced to portable dentistry. Ever since, I’ve been drawn to return and to bring others along to learn and share the journey. The ultimate goal of DCF trips is to train up the next generation of dental missionaries.
Our recent mission to San Marcos was another in a long line of wonderful experiences. Our team was made up of 10 students, 5 dentists, 2 hygienists, and 8 helpers. The helper group was very special as it included team members covering such areas as machine-fixer, clinic organizer, sterilizer, dental assistant, reading glasses fitter, and runner. We served a steady stream of patients and, by the end of the week, performed over 900 individual procedures. Dr. James Moore was able to make partial dentures replacing missing front teeth for 8 patients. Talk about making people smile!
While there are similarities on this trip with all of our DCF endeavors, the one ingredient that I hope stands out is the source of the motivation for our overseas missions. The apostle Paul makes it very clear in the book of Ephesians that “we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them”. Eph 2:10. If God is not behind our efforts and is not acknowledged in all aspects of our work, there’s no long term benefit.
Let me encourage those of you who have been supporters of DCF over the past 20 years to keep the mission spirit alive. There are needs all around us every day. Your family needs you; so does your church, your patients, and those far-off neighbors who live overseas. The opportunities to make someone’s life a bit better are endless. Let’s all strive to be salt and light in this world that desperately needs the love of Christ.