Dr Graham McLennan Dental Surgeon
The annual trip to Vanuatu with Healthcare Christian Fellowship took place recently to the Island of Tanna with its active Volcano Mt Yasur.
We treated 2,000 patients at Lenakel hospital, counselling over 1750 with Steps to Peace with God with a significant response, 469 making first time decisions and 188 rededications.
The Gospel of John published in Bislama by our son Michael McLennan, was also distributed. Both acute and chronic diseases were treated by the eleven doctors including an opthalmologist, gynaecologist, cardiologist and an exhausted Victorian physiotherapist!
Eleven Global Recordings Network MP3 players were distributed in local Tanna languages with flipcharts telling the Gospel along with many bible stories. One of those receiving an MP3 player, Isaac Won was recently converted from the John Frum cult that his grandfather founded seventy years ago. He acted as a counsellor.
Our dental team treated nearly 350 patients and extracted 456 teeth, thirty deep scales,and about fifty therapeutic restorations. In Australian terms this is worth over $90,000!
We did make an HCF Vanuatu record one day by extracting 171 teeth in the one day! Oral hygiene instruction was given to each patient by Jenny a Nivan dentist, over 800 toothbrushes distributed with the children receiving stickers of encouragement. For the first time we didn’t have to rely on cold sterilisation and boiling to sterilse instruments as Wes (pictured above) from WA managed to bring along a working autoclave which we greatly appreciated.
A lady from North Tanna, Sheila (pictured above) who founded a Christian school – the first one was burnt down and the principle threatened with death, was given an MP3 player and treated with a composite bridge to replace a lost anterior tooth. She departed with a great smile! We gave another MP3 player to Joe the man threatened with death – he went to South Tanna and commenced a Christian School there! The Southern Tanna people have just had their first bibles printed in their own language. It took an American couple 9.5 years to do it, finishing their project a fortnight ago. Twenty four Moody Bible Institute linguistic students were present at the launch.
Following is part of a press release from the Director General of Health of the Republic of Vanuatu:
“The first Medical Team that visited and ministered to the people could be dated back to the early Christian Missionaries who landed on our shores more than a hundred years ago. Some of the current public health facilities in operation throughout Vanuatu today were established by these early missionaries. The missionaries back then did not come to just share the gospel of Jesus Christ, but also they were carpenters, auto mechanics, teachers and healthcare professionals like doctors or nurses.
The Ministry of Health saw the need to support and introduce the HCF in Vanuatu as an an initiative to provide holistic healing in the Healthcare Field. The Motto of Vanuatu says “Long God Yumi Stanap” and also our preamble says that our country is established on our “traditional Melanesian Values, Faith in God and Christian Principles…”
Some of the counsellors and hospital staff at the closing ceremony.