It takes a special person to spend their day up to their elbows in discomfort. It is literally back-breaking work, with patients who are often anxious, and conditions that are less-than-ideal in a field-clinic setting. This team did it with a beautiful smile! Dr. Cary LaCouture, Dr. Roger Gartz, Dr. Patricia Roberts, and Dr. Fausta recently served at Hope Haven Rwanda, along with a team of dental professionals and other helpers from several states.
Dr. LaCouture’s two clinics, Burning Tree Family Dentistry and Creekside Dental, are known in the Denver area as outstanding practices. And, they have a reputation for going to some of the toughest places in the world to deliver premier dental care. Their field capabilities range across the spectrum of care, from extractions of wisdom teeth to high quality fillings! It is remarkable how many services they are able to offer in austere locations.
This year, for the first time ever, a Rwandan Dental Surgeon, Dr. Fausta, was invited to join the team. She not only provided incredible care, she had a wonderful way of comforting students who were unfamiliar with dental procedures. The University of Rwanda just recently graduated their first-ever class of Dental Surgeons and the landscape of dental care is changing rapidly in the entire country. For many in our community, this was the first time they had ever been in a dental chair. For some who had been struggling with chronic pain for years, this was a day filled with miracles!
When asked why he would travel halfway around the world to serve, Dr. LaCouture said, “We love mission work, we love healthcare, we love the people of Rwanda. It’s great working with Hope Haven and it’s great working with the patients and the staff here, so it’s very meaningful for us. It’s the currency of life—Service!”
Saint Paul wrote, “I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others. For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich”(2 Corinthians 8:8-9).
The sincerity of these dentists’ love for others was tested. They are rich, and yet they became poor, reflecting the incarnation of Jesus Christ. Their positive attitudes, incredible perseverance and obvious joy stood out as one of the best examples of authentic servanthood that we have seen in quite some time. By the end of the week, they had selflessly treated more than 800 patients!
Here is a question for all of us to consider as we ponder service as the currency of life: “How will I step into the world of someone less fortunate this week and sacrificially demonstrate the love of Christ?”