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Dental Campaign in Maneadero, Baja California

Carmen Gutierrez

We met Oscar (who works in a branch of the local government for social assistance) at the home of some mutual friends. As he spoke English, soon he and my husband Paul were deep in a conversation about helping the community of Ensenada. We exchanged phone numbers and tried to phone him a few times but he was always busy. Would this be one of those “chance meetings” and nothing else?

A few weeks later we met again at the same place and he told us that he had been thinking about us a lot as the local government was organizing a dental campaign with some dentists from Ohio, and he wanted us to help with the spiritual side of things. We knew we had the fantastic Activated magazines and Aurora products to distribute and to the adults and children which would be perfect for this event.

The dentists, their assistants and government workers were well organized and well supplied with a trailer full of dental equipment and an x-ray machine. We arrived at the location with our hands full of food, Activated magazines, coloring books and posters of religious and ethical principles that Activated Ministries had donated for the event.

People started arriving for their dental exams. They were mostly poor field workers and their families from Oaxaca, one of the poorest regions in the south of Mexico. At first, some people were hesitant to come in as they were afraid that they would have to pay something or that they needed to show papers, but little by little they relaxed and were led to the reception and then to the waiting room where everyone was welcomed with a Activated magazine, and the children were directed to the children’s corner where there were coloring books and posters waiting for them. Thanks again to Activated Ministries for their generous donation.

All in all there were about twenty volunteers, a pastor, and four local missionaries who assisted the patients. About two hundred people attended and were treated for fillings and extractions. Most of the volunteers came from various churches in Columbus, Ohio. Some of the volunteers told us that they felt like they had come prepared to bring Jesus and His love to the people through their dental work but it was not complete until we brought the other side: the spiritual feeding and interaction with the people with the words of Jesus.

As it turned out, we were also a help in bringing four more local dentists to the event. Due to some unexpected circumstances only one dentist was able to come from Ohio, so the first day things were going slow, as although he put his whole heart in his dental work and did it with a constant smile and tenderness, it was not enough to attend to the multitude that had congregated. Paul and I felt burdened that with all the money and effort these volunteers had put into it so few people were able to benefit because of the limited work that only one doctor could provide.

This is when being a missionary for some time in the city and daily ministering to others paid off as with one phone call (and a lot of prayer and faith!) we were able to recruit one more dentist for the next day and three more for the following. Everyone was so thankful to these precious dentists who practically without warning were able to adjust their busy schedules and assist at a moment’s notice.

We are very thankful for the dedication of Activated Ministries to help in the distribution of the gospel and ethical materials to educate and change lives. Two hundred fifty-three Conectate magazines, one hundred and forty-three coloring books, two hundred Start Early posters, and one hundred and thirty-two tracts were distributed for free to the people that attended the four day clinic. Also about twenty-five people prayed to receive Jesus as their savior.