Baptist Mobile Health Ministry shares gospel, provides dental work to migrant workers

Published 9:08 am Wednesday, June 15, 2022

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Last Thursday afternoon, Salvation Army drove their mobile food truck to Decatur Oaks, where they provided meals to 80 migrant workers and nearly 120 Emory University students, along with employees of the Baptist Mobile Health Ministry.

Following the meal, migrant workers were encouraged to visit the Baptist Mobile Health Unit, which was parked onsite.

According to the Georgia Baptist Mission Board, the Baptist Mobile Health Ministry is an evangelistic tool of the Board. Their desire is to reach out to the under-served communities through health care and take care of their spiritual needs as well.

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Inside the Mobile Health Unit are three dental operators, where migrant workers can be seen on an urgent care basis.

Myra Gill, The Baptist Mobile Health Ministry Coordinator, said there is so much dental pain and need when it comes to helping the migrant workers.

“We do fillings and extractions,” she explained. “This project doesn’t typically do dental hygiene visits; it is more of an urgent care.”

Gill shared that the dentists volunteer their time to help with this ministry project.

“It depends on the number of dentists we have working that day, but they can see anywhere from 20-22 people a day,” Gill said. “We do only see patients 18 and older, because children can get access elsewhere.”

Gill assists the dentists in sterilization, X-Rays, set up and clean up, and loves working with the project.

“It’s one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done,” she said.

Gill had previously worked as a hygienist, but said she felt a calling since she was 16-years-old to do something that would serve the Lord. When she came across the opportunity to help with the Baptist Mobile Health Ministry, she knew she was following God’s will.

While working at the Baptist Mobile Health Unit, dentists and hygienist are often asked, “Why do you do this?”

Gill, along with fellow Coordinator Tom Crites, use the question to start a conversation about Christ’s direction to love your neighbor as yourself.

“We want to help people and lead them to God’s love,” Crites said. “We often say God uses toothaches to get people’s attention.”

Crites and Gill have even developed a relationship with local resident Jesus Bocanegra, who follows up with the questions migrant workers may have and invites them to his church, which he began due to the ministry of the Baptist Mobile Health Unit.

Gill and Crites were thankful for the Department of Public Health and the Georgia Farm Workers Program for inviting them to be a part of the dinner that night and allow them to serve the people of the Bainbridge community. Through their work, numerous migrant workers were saved that night and left feeling no longer in pain due to their toothache and no longer in pain without Jesus.