What is your background?
Dr. Mendez comes from a family of six, three older brothers, her parents and herself. Her passion for dentistry began when she was little on a visit to the dentist for a hurt tooth. The inability for this dentist to help her ignited the desire to be a different kind of dentist, as she told her parents that day.
She began speaking in faith about providing work and talking with her parents about possible support with college tuition, travel, etc. “They said that, with God’s help, they would always support me,” she said. “And that’s where the adventure began.”
In 2008, she began working with a family, cleaning and washing, to add to the support her parents were giving her [for her dental career], a job that lasted nine years.
How did you come to know of Abigail Association and the SJV Clinic?
Dr. Mendez was first introduced to Abigail Association after being invited to join her friend, Dr. Romeo, at a medical clinic being held at a local church. While taking care of dental cleanings at the clinic was her responsibility that day, she realized it wasn’t just their dental needs she was tending to but also their soul needs.
It was on that day in 2014, after being introduced to Janis, that she made an instant connection with the mission and vision of Abigail Association.
“I wanted to be a part of the ministry – a part of that beautiful team to bless others,” she explained.
What is your favorite part of working for Abigail Association?
Dr. Mendez expressed that her favorite part of working for Abigail Association is the ability to be an instrument in which to bless those in need and to create relationships with them.
Even though some people may seek to take advantage of their generosity, there are also so many more who are in great need of what the ministry offers. Services that include medical, dental, and gynecological services meet many needs but perhaps the one that makes their care well-rounded, is the additional of the spiritual aspect of their care.
“I thank God for allowing me to be part of the blessing,” Dr. Mendez said.
“The truth is, Abigail Association has changed my life. The ministry is such a blessing to everyone who is reached by them. It has reach me and blessed me ever since that first day. Glory be to God!”
What do you pray for in regards to the future of Abigail Association?
Her greatest desire is to see the ministry of Abigail Association expand their reach, further into the communities where people have been abandoned and nobody dares to arrive. She sees the need of these communities as a segue to sharing the Gospel.
“There is so much need – spiritual and material – that a dental clinic could attract people who have prejudices towards God,” she explained. “Those pardons can show that He is a true God of love to be served and followed.”
What scripture(s) motivate and inspire you?
Dr. Mendez had very personal stories leading to the two scriptures that most inspire her, both from different stages in her life.
When life began to change for her in 2005, she found herself becoming afraid because of the cost associated with her studies. “I was finishing my baccalaureate and starting my planned studies at the university,” she explained. It was then that she cried out to God one Sunday in church, sharing her fears as the pastor began to read from Joshua 1. From that day, she made a promise to God that this would be her verse:
Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.
While working with people with disabilities in the Elim Church in 2007, God spoke to her through Matthew 20:28 which says, “just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
She explained, “I wanted to imitate Jesus serving, but not where everyone serves. I wanted to serve where there is a real need.”
This is where her work began with Rainbow of Love, an organization serving children and young adults and their families, a place she continues to serve today.