For years, we have wanted a dentist. At times, there have been visiting dentists who have come for a few weeks or a month - long enough to try and treat the staff, but not long enough to care for the Papua New Guineans who live outside of our station. About a year ago, we learned from Samaritan's Purse that they had a dentist that was suppose to go to Liberia, to the heart of the Ebola outbreak, and wondered if we could use her instead. We quickly said yes, and began working on creating a dental clinic for her to work out of.
In January of this year, we had 2 volunteers who came and helped to get our clinic set up and help us (non dentists) know and understand what we need and don't need. After they left, we have been trying to get our clinic ready for our dentist - Sheena. Well Sheena has now arrived. She got into country a few weeks ago, and has been getting acclimated to the culture and doing some language learning. She is getting close to be ready to see patients, and we are excited.
Initially she will continue to see our staff here on station, as there are still many for her to see and it will give her time to adjust and figure out how things in PNG work. After that, she will start to see PNGers from out of station. There really hasn't been a good dentist in the area for a number of years, so there is a lot of work for her to do, but she is excited about getting started.
Monica is one of our CHWs (Community Health Workers) who has been waiting for Sheena's arrival and for the clinic to open. Monica is learning to be Sheena's assistant, learning how to clean teeth, what instruments Sheena will need for what procedures, etc. There will be a lot for her to learn, and us too as we start this dental clinic.
Pray that this dental clinic might open up a new ministry for us and might help to meet the needs of many. Pray for Sheena and Monica as they work together and minister to the many who will come.