Wow, where to begin. The dental clinic was so wonderful in so many ways I’m not even sure where to start.
I guess I’ll simply start with meeting the Boldings. These are some special people. You don’t have to be in their presence for more than 5 minutes to know that they love the Lord, they have big hearts, and they are as genuine as they come.
I was blessed just to spend a couple of hours in a van from the airport back to Monjas with them, let alone a week working alongside them! When God reigns down the blessings, man, they really pour.
We started out early Tuesday morning up at PDLC, one of the communities GC Works has been affiliated with for a while now. The Boldings had 5 trunks filled with dental equipment. It was literally a traveling dental clinic. We set up the clinic in the local church building. We had a table as you walked in where the patients were asked a few questions before they went to sit against the wall in a line of chairs to wait their turn. Dr. Bolding would give them each a quick exam as they sat to see if they had any problems, then depending on what they needed, they would either be moved to a chair to get numbed up or they would come directly to the main chair for fillings. We had a wooden lawn chair sitting on 2 stacked cinder blocks for that chair by the end of the day.
I got to learn how to be the “clean” person all day that day. That means I only handled clean instruments and got to be a little bit of an assistant to Dr. Bolding and his wife as far as grabbing what they needed as fast as I could. I also prepared the syringes with lidocaine and a needle!Yes, that means I was up close and personal with some of those extractions, folks! Let me tell you — 7 and 8 extractions in one sitting…Not something I could ever imagine myself watching or being a part of in any way, but the Lord does surprise. 🙂
Probably my top 3 favorite things about working closely with the dentist and his patients were these:
1. I got to see the gentleness this man and his wife. I got to see their hearts and hands serving these people they had never met. I got to see them working for the Lord through the gifts He has b lessed them with.
2. I got to use the little spanish I know to ask some particularly anxious women and children if they were nervous and if I could hold their hand. Connecting in that way is something I will never forget and something that can be done despite a language barrier. Hold a hand, people. Give a smile. It matters.
3. I got to work side by side with Timothy. He was the “dirty” worker that day and the stations were set up next to each other on a couple of benches. We got to share in a lot of things that day, including thinking about going to Dr. Bolding’s dental school to become dental assistants in Arkansas!
I can’t finish out this blog without mentioning how this 3 day clinic ended. On Thursday, our last day for the clinic in PDLC, some leaders in the community prepared for us “almuerzo completa” — full lunch. We knew this would be a treat before it even happened, but what we didn’t know is how it would move us. We were served jugo de papaya – papaya juice, some sort of vegetable chicken soup (fresh cut veggies in broth with an entire portion from a chicken, not nice boneless chunks), and more than enough tortillas. Delicious doesn’t even describe it, although the chicken part did gross me out…I’ll be honest. 🙂
At the end of the meal (this was the *real* treat), Augustine (we were at his house), stood up to share some words that were on his heart. He spoke about how blessed their community has been to have GC Works be involved with them, and how now we bring this great work into their community and how they are forever grateful. He said so much more..I wish I had written it all down…But I was just in tears…It was such a special moment to see God’s dreams for this community and the work of GC Works to come to fruition and to hear that what is being done is making a difference in lives…Wow. I felt blessed to just be sitting at the table witnessing it all.
After one other man and Gabor also said a few things, we were done. We shook some hands, gave some hugs, and the coolest thing happened. I walked up to the precious abuelita — basically like saying granny — and as our hands touched she looked into my eyes while she patted her heart with her free hand and said some beautiful things in spanish to me. I do not know what she said, but I know it was beautiful. I know she felt moved and I know I felt moved. I cannot remember what I said back to her…probably the only thing that seemed appropriate that I knew how to say in spanish which was “Dios le bendiga” — God bless you.
God bless Plan de la Cruz.
God bless the work of dentists.
God bless Global Community Works.
God bless us all.