Posted 1/30/2007 9:26 PM (#31) Subject: Dr. JACK RUDD, Texas - VOLUNTEER VN 1998
I went to Viet Nam with Dr. Lan Jones in 1998. It was an absolutely inspiring and a most motivational experience for me. I had done some outreach dentistry through the years from my home base of Lubbock, Texas. However, to follow along – and keep up with Lan took more than good sleeping and good Vietnamese food. One must have a big heart and an even bigger commitment to serve some of God’s children most in need.
The volunteer workdays were full of children in need of oral health education and oral health treatment. We worked closely with the local Red Cross staff. The children were taught dental hygiene outside in the school yard before receiving the needed dental treatment. Our team of volunteers have several Vietnamese including Lan’s father who went back to his homeland with us. During the Vietnam War, in the early 1970’s he and his son were in communist prisons. What a marvelous way for Lan’s father to be a part of his early years again. Lan arranged a daily lunch with a nearby housewife and who presented us a full spread of delicious food covering the table from end to end and side to side.
The seed of oral health for those most in need, with the least resources to acquire any education or treatment, was firmly planted in my mind and heart. Some two years later I was compelled to nurture that seed that eventually became Teethsavers International in Africa. I have known and kept contact with my friend, Dr. Lan Jones, for over 20 years and I can easily say, she is one of the most unusual and dedicated Human creatures on God’s great sphere called – Earth