StarSmilez was founded with a simple objective, help health professionals deliver their oral health messages more effectively. One of our favorite experiences is hearing from customers who are making a difference in the lives of their audiences. Robin Lannert, a dental hygienist, was kind enough to share her mission trip experience, as she reached out to improve lives in Belize as an oral health educator.
I am a 30-year dental hygienist and my husband is in construction management. About 4 years ago the Lord called us out of our 'land of comfortable' and told us to 'go'. We didn't know where but after a crazy series of events that only God could take credit for, he pointed us to Belize.
We are now in our third year here. Our ministry is not exactly what we had anticipated but basically, we embrace 3 D's: Discipleship – Dental – and Development. Together, these build others spiritually, physically, and economically.
Discipleship – We have found that strong relationships are key to delivering our message. We spend a lot of time with young and old alike 'doing life' together. In these day to day activities we have had many opportunities to teach, encourage, and love others.
Dental – our mission organization, Global Outreach (New York) has a wonderful clinic located in Belize. The dental needs are great here and educating people to respond to preventive dental care as opposed to curative care will be a long hard mind-altering battle. In the process of caring for people's oral health, we can respond as to why we are here – to love others as Christ has loved us. People are grateful for the treatment. As a hygienist, it’s shocking to see that few people here have ever had their teeth cleaned. I love seeing their reaction after we complete the process. They are amazed and so thankful.
We also do remote dentistry and education in schools. Recently, the dentist who had volunteered at the clinic has returned to the states, so the clinic isn't opened daily, but this has opened the door for more short-term teams. I love dental hygiene and am fortunate to have the chance to 'give back' so to speak.
The final phase of our ministry is Development – providing short term business loans to those who may not otherwise be able to get loans. Many are chocolate farmers (who doesn’t love a chocolate farmer!). These loans are also about relationships as it opens the door to meeting together and loving others.
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