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Pop-up dental clinics provide avenue for outreach


BOWLING GREEN—Throughout March and April across the commonwealth, a SEND Relief trailer can be seen in church parking lots, providing pop-up dental clinics, serving neighborhoods in need.

On March 3, the trailer parked at Christ Fellowship Church in Bowling Green and was hosted in partnership with Rich Pond Baptist Church. From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., dentists, dental hygienists and dental assistants saw 89 patients.

There was an area for childcare, space for snacks, and room for team members to share Christ. This clinic focused on mostly refugees from the Republic of Congo, who, for the most part, are active members of Christ Fellowship.

"I thought it would be great to participate and help because they're really faithful to our church," Philip Walden, a member of Christ Fellowship and one of the dentists that volunteered his time, said. "We want to try to help that community as much as we can."

Dentist Philip Walden and Linda Cooper, national WMU president, provide dental care on the SEND Relief trailer in Bowling Green.

Walden let the organizers of the clinic at Christ Fellowship know that refugees who couldn't get care on the day of the clinic could visit his practice and get the treatment they need at a later time. He added, "It was neat to see that the whole community was able to come out and get everything checked up."

Linda Cooper, national WMU president and member of Forest Park Baptist in Bowling Green, works as a dental hygienist in the same practice as Walden. She first found out about these clinics while volunteering in conjunction with SBC Crossover in Ferguson, Mo.

While cleaning the refugees' teeth, "I got to speak one-on-one with them and asked them if they knew the Lord," she shared. "They got so excited they would almost jump up out of the chair and say, 'Oh, yes.' It was so encouraging to me to see that they have already found Christ."

Cooper was also impressed with the trailer itself. "That trailer is top of the line. You think of mission work and you think, 'Oh man. I may have to hold a flashlight to see.' That trailer is equipped with top of the line dental tools. It was just a blessing to use."

Cooper added, "In Kentucky, it's really going to be used."

And she's right. On Mar. 17 the trailer was set up in Shelbyville at First Baptist Church.Other places it can be seen across the state include:

March 31 – Bible Community Church, Louisville

April 6 – Buck Run Baptist Church, Frankfort

April 14 – First Baptist Church of Pikeville,126 4th St., and Grace Baptist Churches, Pikeville

April 25 – BsideU for Life, Louisville

April 28 – Second Baptist Church, Hopkinsville

The goal is for other churches to see the need and get involved as well. For more information on the KBC's Whole Health Kentucky initiative, visit kybaptist.org/wholehealth. (WR)

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