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Fall 2009

Our Service International Fall Dental Team left St. Louis on Friday, September 25. When we arrived in Pristina, Kosovo, one of our in-country managers picked us up at the airport and, after loading up our luggage, we headed to Gjakova

On Sunday, we attended a church service at Eternity Church. Afterwards, we went out to the Fonderia, where we have our dental clinic. We put away supplies and readied the clinic for our use on Monday. Even though two Kosovar doctors and two assistants staff the clinic year round, we still needed to set up the other units that we would be using and make sure we had supplies and materials ready. Also, we had to repair the dental unit that I use. I had brought some parts with me, but I still didn't have everything I needed to get the unit working properly. So we searched through our extra equipment in the warehouse and found something that would work. After cleaning out a few valves and lines, we were good to go.


Our Kosovar team included clinic staff, Dr. Shpresa and Dr. Filloreta, and their assistants Bledar and Arta; our clinic managers Memli and Fatush Bokshi; and Indrit who helps out in the reception area and maintains the equipment. Dr. Rubik, who is doing post-graduate training in oral surgery, was there to help, as well as Dr. Sebahathe, an orthodontist who comes in a few afternoons during the week. Semia, Veton and Enio served as our interpreters.

Everyone who came to the clinic heard about Jesus. Pastor Driton worked in the reception area, and he was able to share the Gospel message with many of the patients and the parents. God's presence was definitely felt in the clinic.


Having extra doctors working and volunteering at the clinic allows me to teach and demonstrate techniques to them. During the week, I had the opportunity to work with each doctor and offer assistance in several areas, such as endodontics and the proper use of bonding agents and techniques. They are eager to learn how to improve. Their attitude and mindset put them at the top of the doctors in Kosovo, and they are a wonderful group of people with whom to work.

On Thursday we had a surprise visit from Gjakova's Minister of Health and two of his consultants. They had questions about our clinic and staff. Our clinic is licensed, all our documents are filed properly, and our staff is certified. We offered them a tour of the clinic, but they declined. On Friday, we were visited by the Italian KFOR military unit. They had questions about the clinic, our history in Kosovo, and our NGO (Non-Government Organization) status. They were very impressed. Our equipment and techniques are some of the best in all of Kosovo, and our sterilization standards are the highest in the entire area. There is no other clinic in Kosovo that is using Dexis Digital X-rays. We are now working on setting up a network so the doctors can view x-rays on laptops at their work stations, eliminating the need to print the x-rays.

During this visit to Kosovo, we saw 204 patients and provided free dental services valued at about $120,000. We witnessed God's hand and presence during our entire time.


If you would like to be a part of our next dental mission trip to Kosovo, email Service International at or email me at

God bless you all!
Dr. Mark Ortinau
Director of Kosovo Dental Missions

CLICK HERE to view a complete list of Service International's upcoming mission trips to Kosovo and other parts of the world.