Oral Care Camp 3

The Internal Toothbrush

It is my opinion that knowledge is empowering, and if there is a way to share even difficult to understand subjects, one should try.  This is why I like using pictures.  These pictures are incredibly valuable teaching tool to help explain these difficult concepts, especially very helpful for my younger audience.  No matter what age, I think that all ages appreciate and benefit from this style of teaching.

Oral Care Camp 3 002I began with a summary of the past classes and shared that we know about the external toothbrush.  But I said there is another toothbrush to know about.  It is called the Internal Toothbrush which is just as important as the external one or maybe even more important.

So yes, you guessed it, I talked about the tooth anatomy and that our teeth are living and hungry, so they need nutrition just like the rest of our body does.

sensitive-teethUsing a straw as a model, I described how each tooth has thousands of straw like tubes that feed our teeth nutrition from the foods and drinks that we consume.  I showed pictures of these tubes inside of the tooth.  How it works is like tree and its root system. The tree is fed by the water and soil nutrients by sucking the nutrients up through the roots “straws” to feed it to be healthy.  The right nutrition creates the right conditions for health.  The “straws” in the teeth do the same thing so we can feed our teeth and give them health.

Now here is where I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to share about nutrition.  After all, that is my specialty.  I talked about the kinds of foods that our teeth need and the kinds that our teeth have a difficult time staying healthy with.  This included showing pictures of processed foods and drinks that contain sugar in them and how sugar feeds all the bad bugs in our mouth.  Also included were pictures that showed the right foods and how they help the teeth, because those foods have the vitamins and mineral nutrients in them that the teeth need to stay healthy.  I encouraged them by saying that Haiti is a special place even though it is very tiny dot on the world map.  God has given them many gifts, two of them include Moringa and Cacao Chocolate, which are both trees that grow in Haiti and I thought that they should use these gifts that God gave them.

Oral Care Camp 3 011In conclusion, I did a scientific experiment which included two eggs, coke, and vinegar.  I explained that the eggs represented our teeth because our teeth are made of the same minerals as the egg shell.  After I poured the coke and the vinegar in each glass and I walked around the room showing them all the bubbles. I told them that these bubbles were acid that was eating the egg shell which represented the outer enamel layer of their tooth.  I dismissed the class saying that I would conclude the experiment by showing them at Monday Night Bible Study what happens to the eggs

Oral Care Camp 3 013Well, Monday Night Bible Study rolled around and a number of the little girls were relaxing on a trampoline in their recreation area said, “Do you have the eggs?”  Girls of every age were sitting in the centralized gazebo living area said, “Where are the eggs?”  Hahaha, they were excited, but I said after the Bible Study, I would show them.  I was hoping they would be able to concentrate on the Bible study.  They did just fine. *:) happy At the right time, I brought out the eggs.  I took a toothbrush and put toothpaste on it and started brushing the egg with the coke stain just like you would to brush your teeth to show them that it is important to brush long enough (at least 2 minutes softly) and that brushing regularly to help keep the teeth white and remove the sugars that the bad bugs like is important.   Then I got out the egg soaked in vinegar and gave each of the girls that wanted to a chance to touch the vinegar egg.  Exclamations, wows, gasping, all explain their reactions.  Some even seemed a little nervous touching the egg.  I traveled around the gazebo to different groups showing how the egg was rubbery and could now bounce because it was soft and rubbery.  In showing the final group how it bounced a few times, the egg finally broke.  I explained this experiment shows us how acid can destroy and damage teeth.

I was very pleased with the overall receptivity and reaction of the girls.  Between helpful pictures and a few simple experimental items, this took what could have been a boring and difficult presentation into an enjoyable learning experience.

May I encourage you to use your internal toothbrush to create a healthy smile.  I think you will be glad you if you do, because “A healthy smile is a beautiful smile.”



Oral Care Camp Week 2

photo 1 (1)Week 2FrontToothModels

Not only is a picture worth a thousand words, but images are great for empowering, implanting and enhancing memory.

Showing them microscopic images of the “bad bugs / bacteria” that live in your mouth resulted in many wrinkled faces and gasps with all age levels.  Every bit of information was building upon itself for the climactic ending that I will share in a second.

After doing a quick review on brushing, when to change your toothbrush and how to clean your toothbrush, because it too harbors these bad bugs after brushing, we covered the how and why we should be flossing, because every part of the tooth doesn’t get clean by just brushing.  Two volunteers performed live demonstration of the two front teeth and Zachery using his arms to show how not to floss and how to floss.

photo 4At the very end we did an activity.  I had them chew Red Cote tablets for 30 seconds and had them spit it out.  They then were to return to the classroom to receive an explanation on the purpose of that tablet.  An image was showed to them and an explanation as to what your teeth should look like if you had brushed well and what they would look like if they had not.  It was truly fun to see them laughing and smiling at each other with red mouths and teeth.

Word spread quickly after the first class about the Red Cote tablets. It was wonderful to see my class fill up quickly and not seem like “pulling teeth” to get them there.  No pun intended.

After explaining the picture to them, we encouraged them to run to the bathroom and look in the mirror, then finish brushing their teeth where they had missed. They did just that.  I should clarify that the younger girls were all smiles and giggling, but the older girls didn’t want to open their mouths.  When Les went to the area where the girls living area is, there were all kinds of girls grabbing their toothbrushes to do a better job.Michaela3 (1)

Three of the house mothers were able to attend, but the others were busy preparing food.  They had heard news about the class and wanted their own Red Coat Tablets.  I said I would arrange for a class with them another time and I would hand them their own.


Glitches, Hiccups, Setbacks

I had just finished the final touches and printed the first hard copy of the Moringa booklet.  I was going to begin teaching a class on Moringa with a powerpoint that coming Saturday, April 9th.  It would be my third attempt to meet with the house mothers at CCH and share about this wonderful, nutritious leaf, when my computer just quit.  It shut down suddenly.  After letting it rest overnight and nothing had changed, my mind went whirling.  All the months of work and preparation were gone. There was no other place to retrieve it; I had no backup.  I suddenly felt mental fatigue and was in kind of a daze.  I thought, “Not again.”  This was getting really old.  I was getting tired of all the attempts to begin this class all to come to a screeching halt.  For two days while in this daze, all I could do was ask the Lord “Now what?  How do I continue what I have started and worked towards?”  Maybe it was not meant to be.

In determining the next step regarding the computer, we sent out a request if there were any missionary IT people close by that could take a look at it.  We had heard about a missionary family who had just gone through the same thing and said they would be happy to look at my computer.  After a couple of days, they said I still had a warranty on my computer and anyone tearing into it now would void the warranty.  They recommended I send it in for repair.

Since Zachery and Olivia were taking off soon, we decided to send it back with them.  They would take it to the person who could deliver it to the direct place I purchased the computer.  Now it is a waiting game to see if they can rescue my information.  Please pray that they are able to retrieve my work and that there will be no rebuilding of this lost information.

In the meantime, my thoughts are on the privileges I have been given to have certain blessings in life such as the ability to use technology to do research, to gain knowledge, and to put information together to help others.

Part 2

A couple of days after Zachery and Olivia arrived back, they explained that the computer almost did not leave the country of Haiti.

Lately, for security purposes, they are asking for computers to be turned on going through security points.  I guess computers are being gutted and turned into explosive units.  So to turn the computer on means there is still a valid computer.  When they asked Zachery to turn it on, he said, “That is why we have it to take back, it is broken.  It won’t turn on.” After talking to the supervisor, they moved them on.  Praise the Lord!

Thank you Zachery and Olivia for taking care of that for us.


The Joys of Ministry

Zachery, Josiah preaching Les, Zachery

Family in Ministry

What a blessing it is to have your children serve with you on the mission field as adults. Zachery, who is now fluent enough in Creole to preach, has been able to help translate for his father.  This father/son ministry relationship is very special indeed.  We used to think that ministry doesn’t get any better than this, but we were wrong.  Recently, we had the privilege of watching two of our sons work in tandem.  Josiah came to visit Haiti and had the opportunity to preach a message while Zachery translated for him.  By God’s grace, and with great thankfulness, we are seeing the gospel of Jesus Christ being shared through our children unfold before our eyes.  Thank you Jesus.

Dramatizing the Bible

I finally did it.  I decided I was going to tackle reading from the Jesus Storybook Bible Creole version.  Reading for the first time, and with only a few glitches, the girls were surprised and gave me wonderful compliments.  After reading in Creole four weeks in a row, they commented that I was reading very well and now it was Les’s turn.  🙂

Monday Night Bible Study has a slightly different flare every so often.  Although the Jesus Storybook Bible is for young children, many of the youngest girls fall under its age group level and are still challenged with it. It worked out very well to try story telling through the pictures in the book and interjecting questions along the way. With all the little girls sitting in front of me looking at the pictures while I was vocally dramatizing and adding a few arm motions, Zachery, with a creativity all of his own, added his own drama as he interpreted. Using a basketball as a prop under his shirt for Mary’s pregnant belly and the wise men’s camels positioning it on his back under his shirt, he bent over and walked like a camel. We wish you could have been there.  We wish we would have gotten it all on video/camera.

All of the girls really loved it, from the youngest to the oldest.

What a joy it has been to have Zachery helping with translation for Monday Night Bible Study. He truly has added another dimension to these studies.

All I can say now is, ZACHERY, what will I ever do without your help.  Monday Night Bible Study will not be the same while you and Olivia are gone.

Will you pray?

It was another “shock-day” for us, as a little boy, “Jackson” was brought out to the Center.  This little guy is four years old and unwanted from birth.  He had scars on his body from being beaten by his mother on a regular basis…it’s hard and unpleasant to describe…  I don’t understand how, why, or what for??  Please pray for him, and his mother.  She is pregnant with a second child, and now in prison.

IMG_0489Pray for Jackson.  He needs physical love and a Savior.  Pray for not only the physical scars on Jackson’s bruised body but also for the physiological and emotional scars that he bares.
Pray for Jackson’s mom who needs the transformation of the Lord Jesus Christ in her life and for the precious life she carries.

Oral Care Camp

Week 1

Coordinating a seminar can be very challenging at the Center.  There is usually so much happening.

I arrived at CCH ready to present the first Oral Care Camp.  The plan was to teach to all the girls and house-mothers, but no one was ready and no one had heard about it.  I confess that even though I should have expected this, I was disappointed.  One thing I have a very difficult time with is adjusting on the fly, and you would think I had the flexibility thing down by now.

I thought, “Now what.”  I had just collected a group of the youngest girls, all ready and eager to hear and learn, but with no translator, and all rooms locked.  We had tried to contact Jackson our translator, but couldn’t get ahold of him.

AtiAtinia (Elicia)nia (Elcia) and Yvelande volunteered to help keep order with the 3-6 year olds.  They ended up helping me translate for five minutes with their little English and my little Creole.  We were just managing; but, I had some good information to share and wasn’t able to share it with all of our limitations.  But then someone came who knew some English and helped me until Jackson came to help.

I11828618_10153090918263105_3968358478704595304_nn spite of the days start in disorderliness and frustration, the Oral Care Camp went very well; and, I also think they enjoyed the information given, especially information about the tooth and body connection.
I was able to teach most of the girls and house-mothers, mostly in smaller groups as they were able to come.  I have hopes that next week it will be more organized.  I do have plans on teaching tooth care to the Joshua House boys and the James 1:27 Widows and the caretakers for the babies.
P1040464The Oral Care Camp will run for another three weeks on Saturday.  These camps are meant to give small, quick “bites” of information no longer than 30 minutes.
Today’s seminar touched on brushing: when to brush, how to brush, and why brushing the teeth is so important, and that there is more than one reason to take care of our teeth and to have a pretty smile.
A special thanks to Dr. Tom Bieber, DDS, fromP1040466 Clear Lake, IA, for donating the tooth model.  It was a hit.  They really liked it.  Their comment was “Bèl dan blan” which means “Beautiful white teeth”.

Washing Machine

March 5, 2016

Catherine: “We have a machine upstairs you can use.”
Haitian Lady: *she shook her head no* “No, I don’t want.”
Catherine: “You don’t want because you know hand washing well, but not machine washing well?”
Haitian Lady:  “Yes.”
Catherine:  “I can teach you how to use it.”
Haitian Lady:  *she shook her head no* “No, I don’t want.”
Catherine:  “You can use both.  I can teach you how to use the machine to do some laundry while you do some with your hands.”  Haitian Lady:  *she shook her head no*  “No, I don’t want.”
Catherine:  “You don’t want to learn something new?”
Haitian Lady:  “No.”
This is the case of many Haitians in a variety of learning topics.  They don’t want to learn something new.  The question is how will Haiti improve with a mindset of not wanting to learn.  In this case, they know how to do laundry well.  Plus, this Haitian Lady doesn’t think the machine cleans as well as she does.  And to a point, she is right.  However, their washing style is very hard on clothes, scrubbing, scrubbing, and more scrubbing and using LOTS of soap (more soap than is needed) and water. But, I guess if the system isn’t broken why fix it.