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Words From The Pew: John Hale

Our senior warden asked me to share information about my job because my job is my job and it is also my personal ministry; I didn't intend for it to happen that way, it just did.

I work for Help a Child Smile, a mobile dentistry company based in Conyers.  I drive one of sixteen RVs that function as a dentist office on wheels.  We go to schools all over Georgia and when school is not in session we go to children's group homes, grocery stores, drug stores, or anywhere we can provide care to a community.  We are a team: a Doctor, a hygienist, a dental assistant, team leader, and I: the x-ray tech, driver, and general “keep the RV a-rollin’ man”. 

We can see as many as thirty children a day on a mobile.  We treat patient’s preschool through high school at their schools.  It takes about 30-45 minutes to x-ray, clean and check a child’s teeth.  In addition to keeping parents from missing time from work being onsite at the school, we also keep children from missing a day’s worth of classes.

Where does my ministering to these children and parents come in?  Well, most of the parents are afraid of the dentist which can influence the new generation.  When the kids come on our mobile we are able to make them feel secure, take away some of the fear, and send them back to class in 30-45 minutes.  Sometimes it may take two or three visits before we actually treat them, but when we finally win their trust, we treat, teach healthy habits and we know their teeth have been saved.

It’s busy and its work, but, it is God’s work.  The most rewarding part of my job is that we provide health care to children who may not otherwise have the opportunity. I continue to be humbled by the trust children award in not only us, but the educators, health care providers and other professionals they come into contact with during a ""normal"" school day.

John M Hale
XRT, Driver & ‘Keep Her a Rollin Man’