It was nice to have Dr Doug Leung around. He had sold a very successful dental practice in Boston and started Medical Dental Community Groups (MDCG) aimed at meeting felt needs of the poor. He had been around in Cebu to train a mission team prior to training our team. He trained us how to do dental sealants in a whole day! Then we had practice with some of the young guys in the center.
The next day, we went to a public school and helped about 100 students. They came in groups of manageable size. First they received a talk on dental care and decay prevention. Then they went into a group where someone would share the good news using the “evangelicube” – a method of sharing the gospel using something that looked like Rubik’s cube.
Then they came to us and had their teeth mapped and the lower molars without cavities sealed. We created a makeshift dental clinic: chairs, tables, pillows, headlights….but the sterilizing of equipment and safety precautions were tight. We each worked with someone who had experience and Dr Doug and Dr Marianne, a local dentist, walked around and coached us.
We were also dumbstruck by how decayed and devastated the teeth of these young kids were! I remembered in the 1960’s the school system in Singapore had this mobile dental clinic bus and I had my teeth regularly checked.
An Sen and An Wen the young adults in our team took to the ministry with enthusiasm and confidence. But we were not far behind in energy, but slower and tiring earlier.
We all felt a new respect for dentists and the backbreaking work they do. They deserve the fees we pay them.