Over the past few weeks, many Esther School students gained a new experience – going to the dentist! Dr. Jim Hoekwater of Wyoming and his wife, Chris, spent a month at a nearby clinic offering dental care to our students and people from the village.
For our students, seeing a dentist is not a normal occurrence. In fact, the majority of our students have never been to a dentist. The rural location of Nyangwenya and costs of seeing a dentist hinder our students and their families from maintaining good dental health.
“We heard about The Esther School though a friend while her son was serving at the school,” explained Chris. The pair has spent many years providing dental clinics in Honduras and Nicaragua, but had never felt the call to change location. “But the more we heard about The Esther School, it’s students, and the need, we couldn’t get it out of our minds.”
Different situations kept encouraging them to come to Zambia. They were able to send and set up a mobile dental unit. They acquired help through Kathy Miedema, a registered dental assistant currently serving at The Esther School with her family. And they had a place to host the dental clinic and themselves through the partnership with the local clinic.
Through this dental clinic, Dr. Hoekwater and his wife have met our students where they are and served them by sharing their talents. Dr. Hoekwater alleviated toothaches, provided preventative care, and encouraged good dental hygiene practices. One child even stepped out of the chair when finished and embraced Dr. Hoekwater in a big hug. He also had the opportunity to serve others outside of The Esther School. When he wasn’t working on our students, he offered the dental clinic to people from the village. In addition, Dr. Hoekwater was able to work with and apprentice a young Zambian who hopes to attend dental school and become a dentist in Zambia. Our students and this village have been touched by this experience.
Chris said it right when she observed, “No matter where you serve, at home or in another country, God has His plan in place and brings others alongside to help and encourage.”
Thank you Dr. Hoekwater and Chris for coming alongside to help and encourage The Esther School! You blessed and cared for our students through your time, talents, and encouragement, and we are so thankful for you.
Zikomo Kwambili (thank you very much) from The Esther School!