The very best thing about the Medical Mission trip with Refuge International was working with a group of professionals who are skilled in giving care, and cared deeply about the people they were giving care to. We worked as a team, and everyone was there to help. So many of our patients had extraordinary stories: men who worked in blazing sun without hats or water, children who had played with gun powder to make fireworks with an open fire, with disastrous results (hideous scaring), and women who waited years and had come hours on a bus ride to be relieved of their daily pain from uterine fibroids are three examples. We had a couple of terminal cancer patients and everyone in the mission was aware of them, concerned for them, and prayed for them to be eased of their suffering. I would be thrilled to go back every month to work at that clinic!
Gretchen Mettler graduated from Kent State University with a BA in Political Science in 1974. In 1978 she got her Associate Degree in Nursing from Youngstown State University, then completed her BSN and MS from the University of Minnesota in 1984. Gretchen has worked in variety of settings as a Certified Nurse Midwife including a hospital affiliated birth center, a community hospital, and private practice, a federally funded community health center, and University Hospitals of Cleveland in the Women's Health Center, where she cares for a mostly urban, impoverished and socially marginalized population. Gretchen lives in Cleveland, Ohio with an 11 year old "rescued” black standard poodle, Willie, 2 cats, Kittie and Nell. She loves to relax by gardening, cooking, reading or enjoys a wide variety of music Gretchen is the principle care giver to an aunt who will be 95 in May and her greatest accomplishment is being a mother to 19 year old, Liza, who is a college sophomore. Gretchen was our second scholarship recipient for 2011. she served with Refuge International in San Raymundo, Guatemala from Feb 17-27, 2011.