Looking back on this year’s trip…

This trip was a great example of stepping out in faith and knowing that if God did not show up we would not accomplish our goal.  Leadership cannot create the kind of unity, camaraderie, and spiritually sensitivity that only God can create. The prayers of many were answered and God’s goodness created a God-centered result.
I am convinced that unless each member can connect what they do to the main mission of the gospel proclamation, their service is short lived and of little lasting satisfaction.  We must connect what we do, whether it is teeth or working in the kitchen, to the goal of the gospel being shared on the front lines.  The talk by Jorge about the many coming to Christ through VBS gave us all a sense that the little task we were doing was part of the front lines gospel work.
Emily was a super hero in preparation and helping us get organized before we left.  As a newer leader I had many questions and she was always very helpful and patient.  I would serve with her any time and appreciate her greatly.  In addition, Luz and Pam were fantastic.  Their preparation  and scheduling were great.
You never know who can go and who will make it to the end, but God always seems to take care of that and this trip was no exception.  The personalities blended well and everyone exhibited a real servant attitude.  Each team member knew the main reason for the trip and were willing to adjust and blend to that goal to make the team work. We had great team camaraderie and it was a joy.  We had a multitude of  talents that were all used effectively.  From welders to hair cutters to medical specialist, they all worked effectively in their ability.   The fact that we had a common cause, medical/dental, helped create a sense of purpose and unity.   That is hard to orchestrate and only God can make that happen and function well.  Another thing is that God created a real sense of spiritual vitality.  We can hope for that and even schedule devotions, but it is a real miracle of God to see team members be touch by God and wrestle with where they are at with Him personally. We had at least 2 non-believers on the trip and I saw no resistance.  They were certainly introduced to the gospel and God’s people living on mission.
On the Dental side of things we have made great strides in the last 4 years.  From what we saw, the dental IQ of the families and students has increased considerably and we are seeing less extensive decay and doing far more restorations vs extractions.  We saw approximately 35 patients in the dental clinic per day ( with 4+ chairs with providers ) and I believe about twice that many in the medical clinic.
The interpreters chosen were very helpful and needed.   A critical element with so many providers. There were 6 of them and we needed them all.
Overall a great week that ended up being a spiritually impactful week and one that I believe fulfilled the mission of PF.  We are not the goal, but we are a small part of the mission of proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus.  If filling teeth, checking ears, throats, and other diseases can bring people into the hearing of the Gospel, then it is more than worthy of our effort.
Thanks much,  Paul B
To see pictures from this team, click here…