Returning home last Sunday, my feet hit the ground of Bush Intercontinental Airport with gratefulness, but my heart was left behind in Tuxtla-Gutierrez. We served as a medical/dental clinic the first three days in the home-church of Pastor Carlos, his wife Nellie, and their three beautiful children. Their home was a cinder block, cement floor building no larger than the three car garage we put our two cars in. I admit I was shocked by the living conditions so primitive to our way of life, until I saw the rest of the neighborhood and realized their home was a palace and a safe haven.
My dental hygiene equipment consisted of one scaler and a disposable mirror, a cup of water for rinsing their mouth, a bucket for them to spit in, ( when the bucket got half-way full, we poured it outside) and a flashlight I had my translator hold.
The community was waiting for us when we arrived and by the end of day, we were turning people away. These people never had their teeth cleaned before in their lives. You can’t begin to imagine what I saw, yet they were so gracious and thankful for my service.
Two days were spent in the orphanage. Each child there had a heartbreaking story of their own. The doctor working with us on this trip, Saul, shared with the children that they were not a mistake. That God is their Father and He loves them and has a plan for each of them. This made a huge impact in their lives because Saul was once an orphan himself and he rose above it to share the hope he had found through Jesus Christ.
It took faith for me to go, it took the hope found in Jesus Christ to encourage those around me, but the best part of all, was the overwhelming love I received, giving back to me a thousand times more than what I gave.
There are three things that will endure; faith, hope, and love.... and the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13