Dr. Randy Bell has been practicing dentistry for more than 30 years and his mission work is just another extension of the knowledge he continues to seek in advanced and up-to-date dental care and technology.
Dr. Bell has been working in countries around the world for 20 years and loves being able to meet and help the people of other cultures. Spending time with all sorts of different people makes one see the differences we have, but within those differences, we share common similarities in our basic needs. The places and people he visits and serves thank him with gratitude for the time and care they receive from his practice and mission work. Dr. Bell has treated patients in Cambodia, Uganda, Sudan, and Russia.
During a two-week mission trip to Cambodia and Sudan, Bell packed up his portable dental unit complete with an air compressor vacuum to work on extractions and fillings in the 20-25 patients per day he would be seeing while there. Before the trip, he was in close communication with locals in the residing countries to secure and organize safe areas for travel and work. Once word gets out that Dr. Bell is in the country, he is always busy enough to come back for many more trips afterward.
Both Sudan and Cambodia are based rurally, so they are sparsely populated and have minimal to no access to quality dental care. Patients in these countries don’t often have enough money for basic needs, let alone for dental care that is considered a necessity here in the states. Most patients need to travel to major cities in order to receive any sort of option for dental care. Dr. Bell is fortunate to be able to return to countries such as Sudan year after year, which is still being cleaned up and rebuilt after destruction, and help out in any way that he can.
He recounts one story that breaks our hearts… “On a village road, traffic suddenly stopped to do mine sweeping, and explosions would sound as giant bulldozer vehicles rolled over mines as they exploded.” Dr. Bell not only treated the people of Sudan with needed dental care but also the victims’ children with loss of vision and missing body parts.
Turning tragedy into hope, Dr. Bell feels rewarded as he continues these trips year after year, but now has added teams of people to help him with his mission work. Now going on 16 years, the youth from his church group are getting to experience quality dentistry and compassionate care – with a smile.