Most of the boys in our DAVID Boys program, have never been to school or have dropped out in the elementary years. Many of them simply could not afford to go to school and were left to work or just “hang” around as young as 8 years old. Some were told they were to stupid to go to school and others yet, were simply not ever given the chance. Read more
Efren has been at Gentle Hands for 2 years now. Found in a garbage pushcart, he had been left to die. After he was referred to us, we discovered he had Thallasemia Major, a often untreatable blood disorder and despite many efforts to get him medical help outside of the Philippines, we were left to simply love and care for him as best as we could. In March, we were forced to stop the monthly blood transfusions he was undergoing. Read more
I met Dr. Chad at a missions conference in Oklahoma City. I stayed with their family and quickly came to love their gentle, giving spirit. After sharing stories about what we do at Gentle Hands, Chad thought he might come and see if he could help out in the dentistry department. I was so excited to watch and learn!
Because of poor nutrition and a lack of basic dental hygiene, many of our people have rotten teeth. Sometimes just the shell of the tooth is left, the inside completely decayed. Children under 7 years old, are not treated here for some reason or other that I can’t get a straight answer. Needless to say, a dentist who would pull teeth and even have anaesthesia was a welcome visitor.
Arriving after midnight on Sunday night, by 8 am the next morning, Dr. Chad was doing checkups to see what his week would be like. By 9 am, Jovan was in the chair (not exactly very happy.)
Over the next 4 days, Dr. Chad pulled 114 teeth without any complications. Despite the fact we only had a make shift dentist table, a wooden chair (with no neck support), an old cereal bowl to spit in, no proper equipment to sterilize in, my daughter, Merry Faye, snapping pictures and giving a running commentary, and no one to answer the cries of “suction!”, he worked in the heat, in scrubs and bare feet. The sweat from his little headlight gave him a big read suction cup spot on the middle of his forehead which gave me great entertainment.
Raymart, my dear little Raymart, who is a book all on his own, had nothing but rotton teeth in his mouth. We convinced him to have them all pulled, with the promise of beautiful dentures as soon as his gums healed. Many tears, much moaning and groaning, and 17 teeth later, he was done. It was worth several days of laying on the couch and being “nursed” but he seems healthier somehow, happier. His self esteem will be boosted so much with a nice set of teeth!
Chad’s gentleness and confidence took away their fear and even little Glenda, just 4 years old, had a rotten little stub that had caused her whole face to swell periodically, taken out in a matter of minutes. She was so brave. After it was all over, she sat in my arms and sobbed for about 15 minutes. Then she was up and playing again! The toddlers all got a check up and a new toothbrush!They were thrilled.
So we will start a dental fund for the boys that need cavities filled and dentures made. It was a tremendous blessing to have someone come and just touch our boys, children, and staff in such a practical way.