For several years, the Kentucky Baptist Convention has helped local churches and associations to conduct medical and dental clinics that minister to the needs of people in their communities. The clinics have traditionally been conducted on weekends during the months of March, April and May. However, the work to meet the medical and spiritual needs of people through the clinics begins months earlier. The KBC equips churches, assisting with volunteer and medical personnel enlistment, evangelism training, logistics, clinic set up and a follow-up strategy.
One of the resources provided to churches hosting a clinic is use of a modern, state of the art dental unit owed by SEND Relief of the North American Mission Board. The cost of the unit and supplies used while in Kentucky are provided by the KBC as a service to our churches. The unit has two operatories and is fully equipped to perform most any dental service, including x-ray.
The dental unit was purchased with Annie Armstrong Easter offering gifts and is needed to perform the services provided at the clinics, but it isn’t nearly as effective without Martha Smith. Martha has faithfully served as the primary coordinator on the dental unit since the KBC’s first clinic. She was ready to go again this year, until COVID-19 forced the cancellation of the clinics scheduled for 2020.
Martha has been working in dentistry since 1975. She brings to the clinic each weekend she volunteers, her love for the Lord, her experience in the dental field and an infectious smile. This ministry allows Martha to mix her two passions, dentistry and helping others. “It’s a perfect fit for me!” The weekends on the dental unit are long. They begin with set up and prep before the clinic opens and Martha won’t finish till the clinic ends and everything has been cleaned and put back in its place.
It’s obvious that Martha loves what she does and just as obvious is the fact that the dentists and assistants volunteering on the unit love her. It’s not uncommon for a church hosting a clinic to ask, “is Martha coming again?”
Martha shared with me that she enjoys listening to and sharing with those who come to the clinics for help. God has opened her eyes through the ministry to the many problems and difficult situations people find themselves in. They come to the clinics for medical and dental help, but Martha knows that their real need is spiritual healing that only Jesus can provide.
Martha is thankful that God has provided this avenue of ministry for her. “I don’t know why Christians think they need to go overseas to serve, when there are so many opportunities for using our gifts and sharing the gospel right here in our own communities”, she said.
I’m excited and thankful that Martha is willing to use the gifts God has given her for His glory. She and so many others are blessed because of her obedient service. Christ followers will always find it a “perfect fit” when we use the gifts and talents God has given us for His glory.