Protector of precious smiles

Did you know that when children arrive at El Sauzal, most have had little or no dental care? This is because they frequently come from backgrounds of neglect and/or poverty. Many are in pain and in need of urgent dental care.

Meet Eli, the dentist who cares for our kids’ smiles. She is related to the Espinoza family, cousins with director Erika. As a young woman, Eli stepped out in faith to attend dental school. She did not have funding and was already working to support her family. God brought Eli financial support, and she worked extremely hard, attending dental school and supporting her family.

Eli became a dentist about ten years ago. Since that time, she has been busy volunteering her services at our Home, another orphanage in our town, and a third home for developmentally disabled individuals. She has blessed many people. Last year she stepped out in faith again and joined a program for implantology and oral rehabilitation. Again, God brought her the funding she needed to pay for it.

When a new child arrives at our Home, Eli makes a point to inspect their oral health. She has seen many dental challenges—from kids with numerous cavities and gum disease to dental malformations and more recently, a metal object embedded in one of our kids’ mouths. Eli develops treatment plans for each child and comes in regularly to provide the oral care they need. She knows that as kids go through dental work they have to overcome the fear and stress of it in order to be able to eat and smile better.

When Julio (not real name) arrived, an x-ray found a metal item embedded in his gums. Eli has been treating Julio, removing it, and giving him an orthopedic apparatus to help his bone grow properly.

We are so grateful for Eli’s faithful work, and the U.S. churches and dentists that have supported her.