I felt compelled to write about the medical “investigation” component of my trip today after my daughter was complaining excessively about her plantar wart. I promptly showed her this picture of Elena:
We had gotten to know her pretty well during the week, her house was one of the first ones built and she was very sweet. We came back the last day that we were working in the village and she had a scarf wrapped around her neck. We asked her why and she promptly showed us her swollen mouth. She had a cavity in one of her front teeth that had gotten so bad that the tooth had cracked and now her entire mouth was infected. You can only imagine the pain- I have never had a tooth nearly that bad but have had needed root canals and I thought the pain before that was unbearable. I never saw Elena shed a tear. These people are used to pain and hardship. I am not sure what would have happened if we had not had a solution through GRACE ministries. The grandson of the manager of the mission house was a volunteer paramedic. Due to the frequent needs for tooth extractions he had learned how to take out teeth, at least non-molars, to relieve the pain for the poor people. He would drive the 1 1/2 hrs to her village to extract the tooth. I am sure her family would not have been able to afford a dentist.
There was another woman in line for the food distribution who I noticed had a scarf around her mouth and I knew immediately she also had a tooth problem. Mauricio the translator asked her to see what the problem was and could immediately see it was a molar. Unfortunately that is something too complicated for a paramedic to handle. It was an awful sight when she pulled the scarf down- her face was hugely swollen and the smell from infection was putrid.
This is just a small glimpse inside the world of these people. There are no free dental clinics other than the ones provided by missionaries and with the hundreds and hundreds of villages the chances of them getting one is very slim. This village had never even had a food/clothing distribution or a team of doctors visit their village.
The Live Like Lucas medical van would be used for people with similar urgent painful situations. Because of the enormous need of these people it would be used in many contexts to try to improve the quality of life and reduce suffering for these people. Please help. You can donate through the Go Fund Me
or if you would like a tax receipt you can write a check to GRACE Ministries P.O. Box 756 Grand Bay, AL 36541 make sure it says medical van in the notes.
Through the Go Fund and money sent directly to Grace we are at just over $10,000! Share with everyone you know who has a heart for the hurting and might light to donate. Lets do this.