Mission Bite #165: Just Like Me

As a kindergartner, Dustin couldn’t focus in class because of the pain in his mouth. He had been living in El Salvador with his grandmother, who hadn’t paid much attention to dental hygiene. Dustin’s gums were swollen and his teeth throbbed. A local pediatric dentist, Dr. S., agreed to treat him, in spite of Dustin’s mom’s inability to pay.

Dr. S. has a way with kids. None are thrilled to be spending hours in his dental chair, but he is patient and kind and works through an interpreter. “I’m sorry it hurts, but I want to help you,” he tells them.

Dustin, Carlitos, Jonathan, and Jeycob—Salvadoran, Mexican, and Honduran—all helped by an immigrant dentist from another part of the world who looks like them, with brown skin and an accent. “Maybe I’ll be a dentist one day, too,” Jonathan told Dr. S.

Lord, we thank you for specialists like Dr. S. Who are willing to donate portions of their time and expertise to help migrant children experiencing physical pain. We give thanks that these children can receive quality treatment. And we thank you especially for immigrant professionals who model care and compassion and offer hope to these children.

-Greg and Sue Smith, CBF field personnel serving in Fredericksburg, Virginia