Igreja Presbiteriana's dental ministry began February 1995 when an anonymous female dentist employed at the local military hospital requested the opportunity to become a dental missionary for Indians living in the rainforest.

At the start of the ministry, Missionary Kim paid $50 for a canoe and motor to venture into the rainforest. Without a canopy on the canoe, either the rain would drench the crew or the heat of the sun would scorch them behind the clouds. It was a humble beginning for the missionaries indeed.

As time passed with much prayer, God graciously bestowed a big motor boat for the ministry. In the year 2000, the funds for the 8m X 1.5m large, 90 hp. motor boat was provided by Deacon Hong Sup Kim, along with many other sponsors from Sao Paulo.

After purchasing the boat, a plastic canopy was tacked on for protection from the sun and rain. The team of dental missionaries gave examinations during the day, and later assembled three groups for the Sunday School ministry, which were led by Woon Seok Hur (Missionary Kim's wife), Susana Kim, and Ji Hoon Kim for the little ones. A movie showing the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ was reserved for last as a finale to clearly demonstrate the message of the love of God.

The first two medical and dental missionaries in 1988 were Doctor Jae Hwan So from New Jersey, and Doctor Seok Lyeol Chang from Korea. Ever since then, many Christian doctors and dentists from the U.S. and Sao Paulo area were invited to volunteer as short-term missionaries to serve the Indians.

Since the year 2000, Jung Tae Ahn, a cardiac specialist from Sae Ro Nam Church and founder of Dae Jeon Hospital in Korea, has been spending a little over 3 weeks in the Amazon as a short-term missionary each year.



Doctor Seok Lyeol Chang, along with Deacon Kyung Il Hur, last visited Sao Gabriel da Cachoeira in the year 2003. His visit to the only hospital in Sao Gabriel--with its lack of doctors, dentists, and medical equipment and can therefore reasonably treat only a town of approximately 50,000 people--left Doctor Chang feeling very unfortunate about the situation. As he prayed and pondered on how he could help, he decided to donate a large sum to the church and became the financial sponsor for the 10m X 10m medical and dental office, complete with equipment. Presently, the office contains a consultation area, dental and surgical room, waiting room, and bathrooms, just like any other medical office.

At first, Missionary Kim invited doctors and dentists from the local military hospital, but now he mostly recruits short-term dental and medical missionaries from the U.S. and Sao Paulo. At times, all doctors and dentists from Sao Paulo, U.S., and the military hospital are needed to journey the rainforest as one team to provide aid.

It is very difficult for Indians who live in the rainforest to get the kind of medical or dental care we take for granted. Consequently, Missionary Kim is earnestly praying for a hospital ship, which will make it possible for more Indians to get treatment (shots, first-aid education, etc.) while witnessing to them through service.