It didn't seem like a big deal to me when Laura Prather, one of the children's workers at our church, asked me if there was something their children's church could collect to help with our school in the MineField Village. Don't get me wrong. I'm so thankful for folks like Laura who resonate with our work and actively seek to support it in all kinds of crazy and wonderful ways. That's a big deal!!! What wasn't such a big deal was figuring out what they could collect. After a quick thought process, I mentioned that our kids in the village always need toothbrushes and paste. Dental hygiene is pretty non-existent there.
Laura took up the charge and arranged for the kids in our church to collect bags full of toothbrushes and pastes. I brought these items with me on our trip last month. The day before our departure, one of my teammates, Cathy Wilson, emailed to see if she could bring a bunch of toothbrushes that her dentist had donated. Of course, I gave her the thumbs up...but didn't tell her about the toothbrushes I was also bringing. Little did I know that God was knitting together an even better thing than what I could see on the surface.
I hadn't shared with our LightBridge staff about this little side thing that Laura and the children had done. I simply brought all the items to the village. Once in Cambodia, Amreitha (our LightBridge staff who, by the way, lives in Michigan) shared with me a couple things that a friend of hers (in Michigan) gave her to bring to the village. She laughed at how crazy these things were and wasn't sure how we would use them. Then she pulled out a huge fake mouth -- with teeth, gums and all. Additionally, she brought an enormous toothbrush to go along with the teeth. We laughed at how big they were and how ridiculously out of place it seemed in our little village.
Then, I shared with Amreitha about the toothbrushes and pastes that I had brought with me as well as the ones Cathy brought to give out to the kids. We didn't know what the other had brought, but God knew!
The thought popped into my mind: God cares even about teeth!!! Yes, the same God who knows the very number of hairs on our heads also cares about teeth! I sat back amazed to know that God would arrange for three people to bring items that we didn't know related to each other. These items arrived at the village together, at the same time, from three completely different sources. I'm not sure that we could have planned it out any better!
What joy it was to have a teaching time with the school children that next day where we were able to teach them about how to brush their own teeth. Using that ridiculously out of place mouth, we were able to thoroughly explain how to brush teeth and give the kids their first lesson on oral hygiene. Following the teaching time, we handed out toothbrushes and pastes to each and every kid in our school.
What a great organizer God is!!! In His compassion for these little kids (who often get abscessed teeth which cause such terrible pain), He arranged for our team to bring all the needed items to teach and hand out supplies so they could begin caring for their own teeth. We had no idea what the other was bringing. We didn't need to! God took care of the details, supplies, and teaching aids to show His love to these kids. Yes, He even cares about teeth!!
Would you join us in praying for the kids in our village? They are learning so much, but the most important is learning about the love of the One who created them and their little teeth! We are so thankful to work with you in sharing the message of Jesus with these kids...and helping them know how to care for their teeth as well. Thank you for joining with us!
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