A few weeks ago Dr. Hutchison and team embarked on a journey to the Dominican Republic. Our mission, with Servants Heart Ministry, was to help and treat as many children as possible during our time there. Going in without expectations, we returned home with full hearts and a great reward of being able to make a difference in the lives of the children in the Dominican.
We flew in to Santo Domingo which is near the southern coast of the Dominican Republic and from there, drove a couple hours northwest to San Juan de la Maguana. There were several villages we visited that were relatively close. A few being Las Charcas and Las Consoles. All were full of children excited for our arrival. Now, when you think of your experience going to the dentist you might think of the calming music, cool overhead lights and the electric tools. The experience at these villages was quite a bit different than in our daily dental office. The biggest challenge being there was no electricity. So our focus was strictly extraction and instruction. We handed out many toothbrushes which were received with a smile and we happily taught everyone how to use them properly. Although children were our primary focus, we did treat several adult workers in the villages as well. The children were very brave. They sat back, opened their mouths and happily awaited relief from the extractions. We had a small handful of children with a few tears due to the unknown, however after treating them they were ecstatic! Full of smiles, laughter and copious amounts of hugs and kisses were passed all around. The gratitude and joy that beamed through their smiles was the greatest reward. Knowing that we were able to make a difference by sharing our knowledge and removing pain is priceless.
This trip was simply amazing and it has definitely created a domino effect. This Fall, we plan to visit Haiti and help children who are in great need of dental care. We're very thankful for the opportunity to impact the lives of others and are looking forward to seeing the smiles on the faces of the children in Haiti.