News Release

Student's "Summer Vacation" Means Serving

Senior Amy Bulthuis of Worth, Illinois, had never been on a mission trip. But during the summer, she traveled with a small group of other students to Africa’s Ivory Coast and the Republic of Mali on a three-week medical mission trip.

Bulthuis plans to pursue a vocation as a physician’s assistant or physical therapist. Her internship at OccuSport Physical Therapy in Palos Heights became a part-time job as a PT aide that also counted as the required field experience for her biology major.

On the trip, taken through the organization WorldVenture, Bulthuis volunteered in clinics and hospitals and observed the medical resources available to the people in those countries. The differences in medical care compared to the United States were evident: snake bites were the most common wounds; the hospital’s only air conditioning is in the surgery room; each room contains a stripped bed and a stick for an IV; and the patient’s family is responsible for providing bedding and food.

“This trip caused me to have a greater appreciation for missions, and I am interested in participating in more short-term trips,” said Bulthuis.

She also had the opportunity to visit people in the villages and was deeply affected by a visit to a village church where the people’s excitement over the students’ visit was surpassed only by their pleading for them to return.

“It was overwhelming,” said Bulthuis. “The fact that they want you to come back hits you hard.”

Was visiting another country a difficult adjustment? Bulthuis explained that the “busyness and worldliness of this culture made it harder to adjust to coming back to the United States.”

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