A Closer Look

Images of Navigator work around the world

Ana Rosa D’Ercole (right) and her assistant, Nena, in the São Paulo dental clinic.

Ana Rosa D’Ercole (right) and her assistant, Nena, in the São Paulo dental clinic.

As Ana Rosa D’Ercole does root canals, fills cavities, and fits gold crowns on molars, she also looks for opportunities to help her patients with their souls.

About 30-years ago, Ana Rosa converted a small house into a modern dental clinic located near the financial district of São Paulo, Brazil. She lives in an apartment up the street from the clinic, which is also not far from her sister’s language school.

Inside her clinic, the reception area is decorated with vibrant Brazilian art. Upstairs she treats patients in her dental operatory, with her dedicated dental assistant, Nena. Downstairs is a small kitchen, where a table is often covered with Brazilian fare, such as pão de queijo (warm cheese rolls), bolo de milho (a sweet cake made of corn), and robust Brazilian coffee. Around that table her patients, friends and family meet to share life, talk about God, and study the Scriptures.

Ana Rosa was introduced to Christ in dental school, where she met fellow dental student, Michelle Petersen, the eldest daughter of Jim Petersen, who started the Navigator work in Brazil in the early 1960s. Over the years, Ana Rosa has integrated her work and her clinic with helping patients and friends come to Christ and to grow in their faith. Many of the people she has reached are carrying the message of God’s grace to their friends.

“It’s very natural for me,” says Ana Rosa. “Just as I help my patients take care of their teeth, I also want them to grow spiritually.”