Dr. Robert Henin was asked by Bishop Raul Gonzalez to join him on a mission trip to Guatemala in conjunction with Youth Challenge International. Bishop Gonzalez had a vision for 10 years to bring a dental team to Guatemala to serve the people there. Along with a team of 3 assistants, Dr. Henin made the trip and rotated through 6 different locations. All did not go as planned, and it was another 2 years before he went again due to being discouraged.
Robert went again with Youth Challenge, but a change in the operations made a world of difference. That year he also formed a friendship with Pastor Jose Alvarez, who heads up Kitchen of Love Ministries in Guatemala, a ministry that brings God’s love to the people by providing food, care and prayer. That changed everything. The following year the dental ministry set up its clinic at Cocina del Amor in Guatemala City.
Dr. Brad Heim joined the mission and became a vital part of it, today coordinating all of the clinical activities. In 2005, Pastor Jose Alvarez invited a group of Pastors and others to fly to Esquipulas, Guatemala, to view a dream he had to establish a ministry there. In 2007 we set up our first mobile dental clinic in Esquipulas, spending time in both Guatemala City and Esquipulas.
We have moved our ministry in its entirety to Esquipulas due to the tremendous need in that area. Over the years we have been blessed with many volunteer dentists, hygienists, assistants and lay personnel joining us in this endeavor, all at their own time and expense. In addition, we have recruited volunteers from Guatemala to help, and in the last 3 years have brought dental students from Odontología de la Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala to help us deliver our dental care. Our vision is to expand this ministry to provide more services to more people.