Kindness that Travels
“Anna Catherine is the first person to offer to help with anything and is very committed to service. She has the biggest heart and shows lots of enthusiasm in everything she does.” This is the response I received when speaking with her roommate, Sydney.
Anna Catherine’s passion for mission work began in the summer of 2012 when her youth group approached her about a trip. When she agreed to go on the trip, she never really pictured how eye opening it would be. She had always thought mission trips were only about building schools and churches and going clean up places. Kingston, Jamaica turned out to be nothing like she expected. Upon arriving, she found out that they would be working hands on with the residents. The Missionaries of the Poor have centers set up throughout the city that house those they claim to be rejects of society. They range from all ages and all types of mental and physical handicaps. Anna Catherine was very surprised by how hands on her first experience was and couldn’t wait to attend more trips.
Anna Catherine’s first medical mission trip was to Kampala, Uganda last summer for two weeks. During eight clinic days their medical team saw upwards of 375 patients. One of her most vivid memories was in a rural village where they set up base at the only school there. “I was assigned to pharmacy, and when I say pharmacy I mean a table with medication that I could not read.” Anna Catherine told me how overwhelming it was dealing with different types of medications. She told herself while taking a deep breath, “I’m not going to cry on my first day, this is not happening.” When it was lunchtime, she was so relieved. “I ended up going outside were the kids were having recess, and I played with them. We had a soccer ball, and man those little kids can play!” A real soccer ball that’s blown up is a big deal to them. “It’s the little things over there that get the kids so excited that we take for granted over here,” recalled Anna Catherine. She used the example of a child here complaining over getting the wrong Xbox for Christmas, while the people in Kingston were overjoyed to have fruit and paper as their only presents.
These kinds words were spoken by her friend Beth and truly sum up what have learned about this beautiful person. “I could not be more thankful to have such a genuine soul in my life, Anna Catherine is so selfless and an inspiration to all who know her.”