February 2001 Trip

Catherine with 3 girls
This year I have been extremely blessed. I've had some amazing opportunities and I wanted to give
something back.
Catherine Withrow 2001
  In February, 2001, Gehlen sent its first missioner to Honduras. Catherine Withrow, a senior girl at the time, traveled with International Health Services out of Minneapolis, Minnesota. She was accompanied by Francis Seivert, a long-time volunteer on medical missions like this, and brother to Gehlen teacher Richard Seivert. Catherine had a wonderful mission experience working with a team of doctors and nurses in many villages in and around El Guante.

  Commenting about why she made this mission trip to Honduras, Catherine said, "This year I have been extremely blessed. I've had some amazing opportunities and I wanted to give something back."

  Describing her daily experience Catherine stated, " When we drove into the villages, we had a line of 300 to 400 people and your heart would just sink. We could only see 150 to 200 people a day. Telling them 'no' was really difficult. I learned a great amount of patience. The people would wait out in the hot sun for six to seven hours and in America I get impatient if I have to wait for 15 minutes. It was a huge lesson on waiting and being grateful for what you receive."

  Catherine also said, "This trip made me realize that a lot of the material possessions I have in the States are not what make me happy."

Asking questions of the patients

giving a scabies bath

  During her trip Catherine learned that the Catholic faith is extremely important to the Honduran people. She said, "When people would come to the clinics, they would have rosaries around their necks and a lot of the girls would be wearing their First Communion dresses because going to the clinic was a special occasion. The churches were the center point of every village. I definitely want mission work to be a part of my life. I think service is very important and it is so rewarding that I can't imagine living the rest of my life without a similar experience.

Catherine, Cristobal,  & Francis looking through supplies

  Commenting on this first trip to Honduras by a Gehlen Catholic student, Richard Seivert, director of Gehlen Catholic Mission Honduras said, "Catherine's mission trip to Honduras was pioneering to say the least. She taught the rest of us how to think and treat the poor of this world. I am so proud of her and what she has done. Gehlen Catholic will always see her and this first trip as one of the single most important events that has ever happened in our school history."

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