How the IMN Dental Team is responding during COVID-19.
IMN is a diverse team of over 30 missionaries, each with unique God-given talents and abilities. Whether it be teaching, facilitating children’s programs, pastoring churches, or running dental clinics, IMN missionaries have the freedom to discern with the Lord where they are called to serve and how they can best use their gifts to glorify God. The beauty of this independent structure is that it encourages each IMN missionary to usher the Kingdom of Heaven onto the earth by sharing the love of God with those they serve in the way that God has uniquely created them to do so!
One member of the IMN family has made himself available to use his God-given gifts in especially unique ways during the COVID-19 pandemic. Dennis Ruano is the pastor of Camino y Verdad Central Church in Guatemala City, and he is also a professional dentist. Dennis may not be able to go into the office during the COVID-19 shutdown, but that has not stopped him from sharing the heart of God with his church each day via Skype or serving his patients wholeheartedly when God sends them right to his door!
The Quarantine Stories of “Covid 19” – Written by Dennis Ruano and translated by Lydia Rubenic.
There is a security guard in my neighborhood named Juan. He has always been a very quiet person. Every time I walk through the door of my community, The Colony, I greet him and he just nods his head in response. In all the years I have lived here I have never seen him smile until today!
What was it that made today so different?
It all began when I received a call from the entrance of The Colony early that morning. This came as a surprise because Guatemala is currently under full shutdown due to COVID-19, and we were not supposed to be able to receive any visitors. It was Juan from the security booth. In a shy and hesitant voice Juan told me that he had a dental emergency. He was in excruciating pain and he had a great deal of inflammation in his bottom left buccal canal. He asked for my help and I was quiet for a moment before I told him I would call him right back. My wife Chochy asked me who had called and I told her about Juan’s situation. She immediately responded with compassion saying, “Poor thing. Go help him!”, so I called him back and told him that we were ready to help with his dental emergency.
We keep a portable cart in our home for transporting the dental equipment we need to attend to emergency cases. We rolled it into the garden of our house, and a few minutes later, Juan walked through the door looking shy, quiet, and serious. He was obviously in pain and his inflammation was visible. Juan sat down on the dental chair, and I began extracting his first lower left molar. It was full of cavities and fractures. After a few minutes the tooth was out and Juan was pain free, still under the effect of the anesthesia. I showed him the piece of his tooth that had caused his suffering, and for the first time in my life I saw him smile as he said, “Doctor, thank God for you.”
He asked me what he owed me for my help and I replied, “You owe me nothing.” He asked how that could be and I told him that it was a gift from God to him!! He smiled again and praised God! As Juan walked out of our garden he said, “I am at your service Doctor”, before he made his way back to the security booth.
I firmly believe that from now on I have a new friend in Juan, and that everything that happened today has been a step on God’s plan of salvation for Juan’s life.