The Health Brigade
Dental ministry leads people to the desire to know God!
When Fernando Moreira and his wife started visiting the families in El Carmen, no one seemed interested in studying the Bible with them. But when they invited the people to a free “health brigade” event, things changed. Dental care, massages, haircuts—those were things that the people wanted.
On the morning of the event, 27 volunteers from the Shalom Healthy Living Center and the Limonal Seventh-day Adventist Church, feeling our need for God’s help, gathered for prayer and worship before the event. All that day, we prayed with the patients and offered them free books. By the end of the day, we had handed out 50 copies of The Great Controversy and 20 of Steps to Christ. Now the people’s doors were wide open to Fernando as he continued to visit and make friends in the village.
When we moved our focus to La Primavera, Fernando again went out knocking on doors—but here in this Catholic community, no one seemed interested in the health brigade. Still, Fernando and his wife visited the whole community, and we continued making plans. When we announced that we had added a maxillofacial dentist to the team to extract third molars, people got interested. As we selected patients for the surgeries, Fernando visited them to pray and study God’s Word, ministering to their spiritual needs.
Fabiola, a 27-year-old, unemployed single mother had severe pain in her molars and could not afford the $500 surgery she needed. Then she found out about our free molar surgeries, and she felt excited and worried at the same time. Would she be chosen for the surgery? “Thank God,” she says, “I was put on the list of people to be served! I am very grateful. I know God loves me and has provided for my health. I want to get closer to Him and know more about Him.”
Sebastián had been born in a home with plenty of money and had attended the best schools and worn the best clothes. Then his parents separated, the family business went bankrupt, and for the first time, Sebastián experienced dire need. When Sebastián found out that he had been accepted for free molar surgery, he was excited and scared. He needed the surgery, but it would be risky because he had a cavernous hemangioma* on his face, which could cause excess bleeding.
Sebastián’s surgery took longer than normal. “At one point I felt like I was drowning,” he says, “and the surgeon had to stop and help me calm down. Thank God, I was able to continue with the surgery. I thank God that through the ministry of Mission Projects International, I was able to get the surgery completely free. My Seventh-day Adventist grandmother has been telling me since I was a child that God cares about me. I never paid her much attention, but I have begun to believe now that He does take me into account, even in difficult times of need.”
Eight days after the health brigade, the surgery patients returned to have their stitches removed, and other dental patients came back for further treatment. We thank God for your support, which enables us to continue working for these vulnerable people!
Christ’s method of mingling with those who need our help has opened many doors for us. Our patients have become interested in studying Bible prophecy as well as learning more about nutrition, mental health, natural therapies, healthy cooking and personal prayer. We aim to open a church in this area soon!
* A tightly packed cluster of small blood vessels.
Fernando Endara is Dr. Gaby’s dental assistant and husband.
How You Can Help
Pray for Dr. Gaby and Fernando as they reach the communities around them through the dental ministry.
Pray for Fernando Moreira and his wife as they study the Bible with patients and those who have received The Great Controversy and Steps to Christ.
Give to help reach the poverty-stricken areas of northern Ecuador. Send your check marked “Ecuador” to:
Mission Projects International
PO Box 151
Inchelium, WA 99138
To give securely online, visit: www.missionspro.org/donate
Thank you! Your donations support Fernando Moreira and his wife as Bible workers and help sustain their dental ministry. Thank you for your generosity!