From the moment I heard about the concept of this training, I was convinced that this is the kind of training I would like to offer my students.
This summer we had the privilege of jointly offering “Fundamentals of Indigenous Dental Care” at the Center for Integral Mission in Oklahoma. The training proved that my prediction was right; it was fulfilled beyond my expectations. I decided to offer this course every year to our students and plan to explore how to expand this training opportunity to my students who serve overseas.
This course is very thorough and the trainer is very dedicated to make sure every step goes right. I recommend this course without any reservation.
Young-Gurl Kim, PhD
Institute for Biblical Community Development
John Brown University, Siloam Springs, AR
(Dr Kim was himself a student in this class)
Gerry is an experienced field missionary and has developed this quick and inexpensive and on-the-job dental training that is truly making a difference in wedging open closed doors for Christ and the gospel.
Basic dental care enables us to temporarily by-pass language and cultural barriers so we can practically demonstrate the love of Christ from day one.
Dental Training For Missions with Gerry Beauchemin is an important tool in our missionary tool chest.
CENTER FOR PIONEER CHURCH PLANTING
Los Fresnos, Texas
The next five students were trained at John Brown University Institute of Biblical Community Development program
It was fantastic training – realistic, start slow & build up, repeat the fundamentals, well-organized to make use of the time. You spent a lot of time after hours working to improve the training & bless us – THANK YOU! It was also a real testimony to see your commitment to Christ & the way you intentionally incorporated Him into the training (praying before & after class, praying for Gwanhee’s tooth, etc.).
Thank you so much!
I think God has really taught us through you. It’s been a great time to shareGod’s love and vision with you. And you have been great, a wonderful instructor teaching us also about our attitude toward the calling of God…Thank you so much.
God bless you and your family.
I thank God for learning basic dental care through you in Jesus Christ. It was a great time and challenging…. All that you taught us was very challenging for me – kindness, gentleness, patience, faithfulness, etc.
Thank you again. I hope everything goes well with you in Jesus Christ.
Yun Seik Cho
It’s been really precious time for me. It really opened my eyes. Thank you so much for your patience and love. I’ll try to flow the love that I received from you & God to others (of course I’ll try to serve others with the technique too).
Thank you again. With love,
Thank you Gerry,
I have learned a lot of your philosophy and God’s love through you. You fixed not only my tooth but also my family, I appreciate again.
Thank you for everything
This next student (D. M.) works in a sensitive area and requested that her identity and country not be revealed.
While serving God in ‘my country’ …I had a desire for some kind of practical work; firstly, because I like to work with my hands, but also as a way to show God’s love to people in a holistic way. I was also looking for something that would fulfil a felt need and would give me contacts with people and an opportunity to share the gospel. Then I found out about a course in basic dental care. Just recently (May 2009), I finished doing the training and would like to share with you about this course. Maybe someone else might find that dental care is something he/she could use in his/her ministry situation. I think it is an excellent tool in areas where dental care is not readily available or where people don’t have the money to see a dentist regularly.
The first stage of this course was a four day training in Brownsville, Texas. Every day from 8am to 6pm Gerry, a very gifted and enthusiastic instructor, taught me how to excavate teeth, do fillings, diagnose, take care of instruments, teach oral hygiene etc. I worked on extracted teeth, slowly developing my skills in this art. Gerry was always patient and encouraging, he helped to build my confidence and did not only emphasize technique but also the importance of compassion for the people we serve. He has an amazing gift of being inventive; always thinking about things to simplify dental care and make it more convenient and cost-effective.
Then I was ready for the next stage: working on real people. We arrived in a village that reminded me so much of places in Asia. Gerry, Gary – a former student of Gerry – and I set up the dental clinic in a nearby shed. The next day patients came. Not knowing my inexperience they fully trusted themselves under my care. For me having an expert nearby while doing my first steps into real dentistry gave me confidence. It was good to be able to ask questions, to get advice in – for me – unclear cases and have ones work checked and approved of. I also learned a few phrases in Spanish. Things like “Do you have pain?” and “Please swallow your saliva.”…
Well, back to my dentistry: working from morning till late at night, I got a lot of experience. Gerry always showed little ‘tricks’ and ways to do things better and more efficiently….
Overall it was a very good experience. My third stage of dentistry will come when I go back to Asia to treat people’s teeth there; this time on my own without an expert at my side – but like in everything we do, I do trust that God will be there with me, to guide my hands and give wisdom and skills to serve the people we want to reach and bring His love to them.
I am a medical practitioner working in Senegal. I have known Gerry Beauchemin for 10 years. When we first arrived in Senegal it soon became obvious that dental problems were a bigger felt need than medical. This was because the medical system is easily accessible but most people are too afraid and cannot afford to go to dentists who are few and far between. People travel up to 50 km to see me. Dentistry has proved to be a very useful adjunct to our ministry, providing contact with the community and a means to express Christ’s love to them.
I have sat under Gerry to add to my skills through his Dental Training For Missions course. Through the course, missionaries with no previous dental or medical experience are taught to provide basic dental hygiene teaching, and learn to recognize and treat dental caries using a state of the art technique for filling cavities which only requires simple hand instruments and easily obtained materials. Students are personally tutored through the theoretical material and given practice on dental dummies before treating the dental caries of real people under supervision. All students are supplied with a full kit which will enable them to fill teeth safely in their countries of ministry at the end of the course..
I highly recommend the course for all missionaries working in developing countries particularly those working in rural areas where access to dental services is poor. It gives the community another reason to value the presence of the missionary among them, and opportunities to show how the love of Christians is different to the attitude of those who do not know Christ. The nature of dental problems and the fear associated with them means there is real potential for bonding with the grateful patient, opening doors which might otherwise remain closed. Preventative dental hygiene teaching provides opportunities to make contact with whole communities by providing teaching through villages, schools or health posts. All good reasons why missionaries should be involved.
Dr Richard Shawyer
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to let others know about the impact that becoming a “Community Dental Worker” has had in our ministry in Jamaica. Since my training in 2003? or late 2002- I have done on average of two clinics per week. My husband spends the day with me and we start with having the Jamaicans at the clinic fill out a “Spiritual check-up form” along with a medical History. My husband then talks with those who have spiritual questions or needs and many have come to a fuller knowledge of Christ. Many already proclaim to know the Lord but they have no understanding of Grace. So through Gentle and Compassionate Dentistry and Counseling, many Jamaicans leave our clinics more secure in their salvation, more educated in Grace and definatly feel better physically, due to intervention through dental care.
We show Christian films during our dental clinics, some geared to the children and we have even showed the “The Jesus Film” and “The Passion” The clinics are a wonderful inroad and a way to earn respect through out the communities we serve. It has deepened our relationships, and our presence is veiwed as a help and support for many.
Although our “practice of dentistry” would not be favored by the government here….we find the Churchs open and the Pastors thankful for our service. God has provided protection and we have never had an issue with the Ministry of Health.
I want to thank you for the training I received, although rigourous and demanding at times it was well worth it. There have been transistional times in our ministry where we have had to hold off on the Dental ministry and I was fearful that I would forget what I have learned, but it always just takes a few hours of refreshing myself with the the Literature you provided and my notes from training to bring me back up to speed!
I would recommend this course to anyone who is seeking a way to reach out to their community, it is a wonderful way to show Christ’s amazing love and to earn the respect of the people you have come to serve!
I became interested in Dental Training for Missions -not because of “Teeth” but because of a need to find a fit, to fill a need, and to fulfill my call to God!
Thank you Gerry for allowing God to Use you in such a powerful way!
Yours in Christ,
I work in the mountains of Oaxaca Mexico and many don’t have access to local dental care and even tho it can be found in larger centers most can not afford it so many go with out. For this reason I am able to get into villages being able to offer a needed service which build relationships for the purpose of sharing the gospel. The practical ministry of dentistry is a great tool to show our love for the people giving the opportunity share why we care.
At present I am able to give dental care in a village once a week where I am making contact with people I would otherwise no have access to. I like this avenue of ministry as it is well received and gives a easy lead in to why I’m there doing what I’m doing. The dentistry in itself is a big blessing to the villagers and it enhances my standing within the community to share the gospel.
The training was very practical as it involved aprox 85% hands on actual work. Finishing the course I felt confidant enough to proceed knowing that only time and practice would bring me to a point of better skill but I was confident in the basics needed. The course in itself
wasn’t hard just intense in practising the basics needed to do ART finesse and speed will only come with practice. The instruction was good as it was a lot of one on one personal attention which made the short time of the course realistic. I would recommend this course to others as it is a valuable tool one can use in conjunction with many types of ministries.
Yours in Christ
Six ugly blackened teeth stared back at me. A year earlier I would have panicked at the sight, but here was a golden opportunity to show an entire Mexican village what practical dentistry was able to do. The man was a leader in the local church and known by everyone in the vicinity. Within a short period of time I had removed all the caries and made permanent fillings for him. His ear to ear smile was well-worth the effort. At the next church service I noticed his young daughter continually examining his teeth as if she didn’t recognize who he was. It was a touching moment for me in my recently discovered dental ministry.
Doing village dentistry is extremely challenging, but also extremely rewarding. I have found it to be a very practical way of showing God’s love to the poor and needy.
No one could possibly be as uncoordinated and inept as I am and yet with the Lord’s help and Gerry’s patient encouragement I have been doing village dentistry on my own for the past year. A week of practicing on a model and another week of ‘on the job’ training in Mexico is enough to get a person started in this ministry. I have found that the more I use my dental training the more skillful I have become.
All you need to bring to the ministry is a compassionate heart and a desire to serve Jesus Christ. Gerry’s individualized tutoring will enable you to recognize different dental problems and how to handle them. You will be a competent ‘field dentist’ after completing this two week course. Gerry also provides a basic dental kit so you are ‘ready to roll’ as soon as you complete your training.
Missionary to Mexico
Since our first medical trip to the Ukraine we have been to many countries doing medical missions outreaches. Countries such as Syria, Ukraine and Armenia. On most of our trips I have been used in many ways to assist Doctors, Nurses and medical staff in one way or another. Although I did enjoy this work I felt that God had something greater for me to do….
After contacting Gerry and getting signed up for his training Gerry got me started studying at home first, then I took a trip to Brownsville for on site training and also hands on training in Mexico. What a joy it was working with Gerry. He was very confident in what he was training and also explained everything very well. I would have never believed I could learn such a skill and use it in the mission field. But that was exactly what happened.… What a surprise it was for the dentists. There I was fixing cavities on children and filling them. It got to the point that the Dentists loved my material (Fuji IX) and asked if they could use it. This was truly a dream come true…
We shared with them that we are Christians and we love all Gods people. We will never know how many lives were changed…
I have learned a skill I can use anywhere I go. Thanks Gerry, you truly were an answer from God. Keep up the good work.
The course was a blessing. It enables me to not only to tell people about Jesus, but to show his love through the dental care.
Ministry to Haiti/Mexico