Just admit it. You hate going to the dentist. My experiences have told me that the dentist office is a loud and scary place that haunts me in my darkest dreams! Recently, however, I had no choice but to go to the dentist several times to get some major dental work done. Although the very thought of a high speed drill inside my mouth made me feel nauseous, I was thankful for the end result. My teeth and gums were healthier, allowing me to actually chew on my food on both sides of my mouth. No longer did I have to wince at the hot/cold sensations at dinner.
Not only is a trip to the dentist scary, but it is also expensive. It was a necessary but very costly experience for me. I knew, however, that if I didn't get my teeth fixed, it could cause much larger problems in the long run - not to mention the excruciating pain! I'm just thankful that my parents footed the bill for all my root canals, fillings and other pricey dental work I needed during my childhood. I'm sure that I cost my family a vacation or two!
There are people, however, who desperately desire dental care, but cannot afford or even find a dentist to perform it. In Liberia, for example, there are only three licensed dentists for a population of nearly 3.5 million. Only the rich and powerful would even think about going to the dentist. Most Liberians, therefore, suffer with their dental ailments. Sadly, because these dental problems are left untreated, many waste away and eventually die.
Despite my extreme antagonism against dentists, I am extremely thankful for them. I am especially grateful for the work that Mercy Ships® volunteers and staff have done for the poorest of the poor. Since 1978, they have performed more than 183,000 dental procedures for those who would otherwise never see a dentist! I'm sure that if my dental work was performed by the world class surgeons who serve with Mercy Ships®, my impression of dentists would be different. The most amazing part is that all the dental patients went home without paying a single cent!
I'm sure that the 15 year old boy who received free dental surgery by Dr. Keith, a Mercy Ships® alumnus, would agree. His life-changing story is one among many highlighted this July on the "The Mercy Minute®," Mercy Ships® daily 1:00 feature.
Whether or not you hate going to the dentist, I'm sure you'll have a huge smile on your face once you hear these stories. It's all about changed life - yours and mine included!
We Connect. Ministry and Media
P.S. The Africa Mercy was recently highlighted in the Discovery show, Mighty Ships. Go to the Mercy Ships® Canada site to read more about the program.Download Promo Pack File »