This was our first day in Feldioara for clinic. I felt so excited yet so nervous! This was a moment I had really waited for for months as I prepared for the trip. I had never "assisted" really... so it was going to be new to me: instruments... everything. I think this day I really described what I saw . Enjoy...
"I really didn't know what to expect today at Feldioara. But I truly love the people, they are precious. Some of them can be "drama queens." But isn't it like that here in the states? :) But in the end, these people know relief comes from just a little bit more pain of an extraction... so they do it. It's their only choice.
Our "operatory" is 3 stacked white plastic lawn chairs and a wooden table covered with bits of concrete and paint. You can tell it's been used for so many purposes. Who knew it'd be used to hold dental instruments, needles, gauze, blood, teeth and a lot of change for so many. The ambiance coming from the three windows into this dark dusty sanctuary room provides enough natural light to try and see to work. You could feel the coldness coming from the windows where you could look out and see the people pass and look in back at you.
Jason and I make a good team. 45 teeth pulled today on countless patients. 113 teeth total in all the teams today. I can only imagine what tomorrow will be like when word gets out. As fun as the numbers are to keep up with, it is nothing compared to the power and love of Christ that was represented today in all aspects of the clinic today. God is so good. The need is so great... but truly the workers are few... but God called me. It takes my breath away to think about it. God is my true provider.
To hear a Romanian say "Thank you" and "I love you" after being put through the pain of an extraction is something that sticks with you and makes you reevaluate your own thankfulness in life. Jason and I did 2-4 extractions on one elderly lady . As we finished, Jason began to walk away and this lady grabs him by the arm to bring him back in. He looked so caught by surprise as she began to kiss his arms and hands. All I could do was watch and Jason nodded softly at her. We both stayed silent and looked at each other. I can only imagine that he felt humbled like I did. We did 11 extractions on a woman today. Most if not all the teeth were periodontally involved. She is now edentulous--meaning she has no more teeth in her mouth. We asked so many times if she was sure. But she stated over and over again that she was because she was in so much pain. When we finished... she smiled--a toothless smile-- that showed from ear to ear and said "Thank you" in Romanian. I'll never understand why the world has to be that way but I do know God helped me do something amazing today. He is so very good."
I have wondered time and time again since I have been home just why God isn't apparent in these people's lives like he is in America. But the thing I am learning... He is. If the world was a perfect place that didn't experience pain, heartbreak and poverty... we would not need him. If Romania was a place where all was sound, my life wouldn't have been changed. I really think that these people experience God on such a different level because they really don't have a lot. Thankfulness is something that is so outward in showing there when here in America we expect so many things to be given to us... as if we deserve every bit of it. There are people that lie in our own churches.... go every Sunday, volunteer for committees and get involved. That's great but where's the fire... where's the conviction that would make you stand in the middle of the busiest street in your town and scream at the top of your lungs how much you love Christ. These people have it and they have nothing hardly. But they have everything, in Christ. How desperately do I want to live my life like that daily. How about you?
Live. Laugh. Love.