March 2018

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I returned to Sierra Leone the last week of March 2018. Even though I performed no dental services and provided no training, the trip was quite a success.

We have been training students since 2009 to restore teeth with simple fillings and to extract teeth that cannot be restored.  These skills allow the graduates to provide basic dental services to the poor who have no other access to care. In a country of seven million people, there are still only ten registered dentists. We are now offering the training through the local college, Every Nation College in Bo.  It is offered as a post graduate diploma program to nurses and CHO’s (Community Health Officers), the equivalent of PA’s (physician’s assistants).  The criteria for selecting the students is that they have at least three years of experience and are currently working in a clinic, so they can return to that clinic at the end of the training and provide care and develop their skills.  We provide support to the graduates by allowing them to return to our clinic for further instruction, and with visits to their clinic in order to assist in setting up their dental department and helping them in the treatment of their first patients.

Our second class of students through the college completed their classroom training the week I was in Bo; there are ten students.  The classroom training was conducted by James, a CHO who is a graduate of our program. Clinicals start today and will continue for at least six months, until the students complete the requirements and demonstrate proficiency in placing fillings and extracting teeth.  The clinical training will be conducted by James and Kassay.  Kassay is a graduate of our first class in 2009.  He has been working steadily since then at Morningstar Clinic and has developed his skills to a level of excellence.

We met with the Chief Dental Officer in the country in order to discuss the accreditation process, so that our graduates can practice within a clinic or hospital setting without any resistance or questions regarding the legitimacy of their training or diploma.    The steps to be taken were outlined and agreed to in principle.  We hope that the actual process will be completed in a timely manner and without many obstacles.

Last year we learned that a hotel had been donated to New Harvest Ministries by a satisfied dental patient.  He had not been able to receive treatment for a toothache, even though he had sought care from three other dental clinics, including the clinic at the government hospital.  After receiving care at Morningstar clinic by Kassay, he was so satisfied that he and his wife decided to make the donation.  This building is three stories tall and offers the opportunity to expand the clinic operations and to perhaps convert it into a small hospital.  The transaction was completed at the end of 2017 and final arrangements are being made to make the move in the near future.  When the move is complete, the optometry department will be named in honor of Wm. Thomas Linder, the cofounder of Project 8110.

We were also able to visit the construction site of the new college, which sits on a fifty acre parcel that was also donated to New Harvest Ministries.  The initial phase of construction includes nineteen classrooms, and administrative offices, and is expected to be completed by the end of 2018.

There is still so much to be accomplished, and the task is so much greater than my capacity to complete it.  It will only be completed by the grace of God.  Therefore, I ask that you continue to partner with me both financially and prayerfully.  Our students, teachers, staff and ministry partners face daily challenges that most of us will never experience.  When they pray, “Give us today our daily bread”, they are often times praying for God’s provision for today’s meals.  They are faced with unreliable sources of water, electricity, and transportation.  Roads are sometimes not navigable in the dry season, let alone in the rainy season.  And there are external forces fighting against us that range from the spiritual, to the dental community that does not understand the good work that we are doing.

God has blessed us; that is why we give.  “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.”  (Matthew 25:40 NIV)



March 2017 Mission Trip Update

Category : Uncategorized

In March we returned to Bo, Sierra Leone. We had a very productive trip.

We were able to observe the students in the clinic as they demonstrated their clinical skills, performing extractions and placing restorations. They will continue their training and will soon be recommended for a diploma for a Mid-level Dental Provider from the college at Every Nation Schools.

They were excited about new restorative materials that we introduced, which will be much easier to use than the previous materials.

We also introduced a dental hygiene module to the training. Our intention was to train the students to be able to deal with acute periodontal (gum) issues. However, the training was so well received by the trainees and the patients, that it was decided to make this a separate program. For future classes, students will be able to choose training to be a Mid-level Dental Provider or a Dental Hygienist.

Please continue to pray for the students and trainer as they finish the program. Also, please pray for the next class that we hope to start in November of this year.

We ask that you consider making a monthly pledge to help support our efforts in Sierra Leone.

Pastor Shodankeh had a surprise announcement for us. A patient who was treated at the clinic, was so impressed with the treatment and he recognized the need for a larger facility. He and his wife decided to donate a hotel to New Harvest Ministries to house Morningstar Clinic and possibly for a future hospital.  See video of gratitude.

Announcing:  Mary “Patricia” Comfort Momoh

One of my first students in the program since 2009, Kassay, has shown such dedication to the program and has blessed me with the greatest honor.  He is 29 years old and a father of two.  This is his newest addition and she has been given my lovely wife’s first name, Patricia, for her middle name.

September 2016 Mission Trip Update

Category : Uncategorized

img_2165We returned to Bo, Sierra Leone in September to begin the training of the first class of students in the post-graduate program for RN’s and CHO’s (community health officers) at Every Nation College.

It was a very productive training session. We conducted a full week of classroom and preclinical training of seven students; this included four new students, and three who are repeat students.  The repeat students are completing the training in order to receive their certificate from the college.  They were given written tests to verify their understanding of the material.  The preclinical training gave us an opportunity to evaluate their potential skills by having them perform extractions and place fillings on models of teeth.  The students demonstrated great potential and we hope that at least four of them will be able to become future trainers.

They will now go through 6 months of clinical training which will be supervised by Kassay, a graduate of the original training in 2009. He has been working in Morningstar Clinic since that time providing dental care to those in need.  He has had the opportunity to develop his skills to an exceptionally high level and is very capable to supervise this training.

I hope to return to Bo in March 2017 to verify the clinical proficiency of the students and to recommend them for certification.

Please pray for the students and the trainers as they work to complete this training. It is a challenging environment in which they work, but they are committed to the program and are grateful to be a part of it.

The program continues to run at a significant cost. We would ask that you prayerfully consider a monthly gift and visit to make that pledge.

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Brian Evans at: 351 Sayer Road Bartlett, IL 60103

The Need in Sierra Leone

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