Reflections from Dominican Republic Mission Trip
Welcome to Carolina Oral & Facial Surgery’s blog. The plan for this blog is to provide discussion on special events, educational updates, patient specials, community announcements, and interesting items our team feels the need to share. This is my first attempt to “blog,” so bear with me. Although I love to teach and share insight into the worlds of dentistry and medicine, my kids have some reservation about my ability to jump into any electronic media!
Appropriately, for my “first blog” I am dedicating it to family. In January 2014, I was fortunate enough to make another trip to the Dominican Republic with my church on a medical / dental mission. I immensely enjoy these trips as the Dominican culture is strongly infused by family and interpersonal relationships. The trip in January was special because my wife, Suszanne, daughter, Amy Kate, and Courtney, who has been my surgical assistant for 14 years, joined our team from First Presbyterian. We became very familiar with many of the families living in the “Brizas del Mar” barrio as we treated everyone from the very young to the very old. The sense of community and family importance the Dominican people possess is awe-inspiring at times.
A stirring example of this family dynamic came when a grandmother, who was virtually blind, was led to the clinic by her beautiful young granddaughter. The granddaughter held her grandmother’s hand throughout treatment. As we provided care, the little girl tucked in beside Courtney while facing away from the procedure. The entire time she supported her grandmother by never let go of her hand despite her own apprehension. Truly, this was a reminder that we are a part of God’s plan in all we do. The families in Brizas del Mar may have physical needs, but they have an abundance of family love. The spiritual renewal and sense of community on these trips always keeps me wanting to do more. This time out, the opportunity to experience these moments in the DR with my family and COFS team was amazing. I look forward to many more trips and the opportunity to share new stories in the coming months.
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