Imagine being a child, displaced from your home, in a new location with new people all around you. Feelings of sadness, loneliness, or fear might be some of the emotions you would feel at first. But as you settle in to your new surroundings, the fear melts away as the Love of Christ is showered upon you by an entire campus of loving families, teachers, and caretakers.
Now, imagine this campus has a clinic. Student doctors and dentists come around regularly, but the facility isn't quite complete. There's absolutely no dental x-ray equipment. No way to see what's causing the pain, if there's infection or if it's treatable within these walls.
That's the case at Casa Bernabe in Guatemala. My husband, a dentist, and myself, a hygienist, along with other dental professionals and many loving "hands on deck" have been to the orphanage many times and are very limited on the treatments we can give. We are able to take loaner equipment, but that only helps for one week out of the year.
What you may not realize is, it's impossible to do certain dental treatments safely and of high quality without xrays. The need for these treatments is great as we see rampant oral decay in so many of the children. It's hard to concentrate on learning educational and spiritual things if you have a mouth ful of pain, infection or broken teeth.
Now, understand also, that as mission groups like ours come and go, people from outside the walls of Casa Bernabe are able to come and have treatment too. Wow! That opens up the door even more for the sharing of the Gospel of Christ. However, many must be turned away because of the lack of proper equipment. This leaves most without very many options as we know treatments can be very expensive in regular clinics.
We've discussed diligently with the overseeing dentist, student dentist, dental representitives and the overseeing Friends of Children Everywhere the exact needs to make a step into dental radiography. The minimum of things needed is this:
Portable x-ray head
Computer and software (already being provided)
The approximate cost of these items is $14,000. Yeah, that's a lot. But our God is far bigger than one small plan to acquire dental equipment.
So, would you prayerfully consider giving what you feel led to contribute to help this effort along? From everyone who has looked into the eyes of just one of those precious children or felt the emptiness of a lost community outsider, we implore you to open your hearts.
Caron Taylor, RDH
Garrett Taylor, DDS
Pine Bluff, AR