Dr. Theo D. Beels: I am a recently retired internist, who has spent about 6 ½ years working as a physician with United Mission to Nepal. My last trip was this summer after the earthquake. My wife and I have a significant passion for Nepal and it’s people and I am delighted to have a chance to share this passion with the students. I am looking forward to returning to the place where I have so many wonderful memories and explore with the students where God is calling them in the future. I anticipate that there will be times of sadness when confronted with the suffering in this very poor country. I also expect times of great joy when we sit outside in the sunshine drinking tea and eating our samosas while chatting with our Nepali colleagues.
Professor Kumar Sinniah: I have been on the faculty at Calvin College since 1995. I teach and do research in the department of Chemistry & Biochemistry. I am originally from Sri Lanka (a fairly close neighbor to Nepal). I am excited to travel with students to Nepal and help students learn about a culture that is different to theirs while also helping students to reflect on health care delivery in a medical missions context.
Mrs. Elisabeth Beels, RN: I went first to Nepal in January 1977, and spent three years teaching nursing in Kathmandu. When we returned there for a three year term of service again in 2010, one of the best rewards for me was having one of my first students back from 1977, Shakuntala Thanju, be my boss as director of the nursing school in Tansen. In 2014, I took a group of ten nursing students from another college for a month to Nepal. That was one of the most rewarding experiences for me, to see these students get excited about missions and nursing. Yes, there were sad moments, like when they had to see a child die who should not have had to die. But there were also mountain top experiences, as when I saw them share their critical thinking skills with the Nepali students, and the Nepali students share their procedure skills. Now I am excited to experience that again.
Hannah Peterson: I am a current sophomore at Calvin College, and I’m a Biochemistry major and a Spanish minor. I’m from Denver, Colorado, and I enjoy singing, playing piano, playing tennis, and skiing. It’s a little daunting to travel so far away from home, but I’m excited to encounter a different culture, form some new friendships, and learn about what God is doing through medical missions in Nepal.
Gabrielle Barthel: I am currently a sophomore at Calvin College, and I am pursuing a double major in Biology and Biochemistry. I am originally from Farmington, Michigan, a suburb of the Detroit area. Some of my favorite hobbies include reading, completing jigsaw puzzles, and gardening. I’m definitely excited to see how faith and healing interact in Nepal, and I look forward to learning about how the healthcare system works in Nepal. Perhaps most of all, I can’t wait to meet new people and immerse myself in a culture beyond anything I have experienced before!
Natalie Anumolu: I am currently a sophomore at Calvin pursuing a biochemistry major and public health minor. I’m originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and a few of my favorite things include hiking, reading, and drinking coffee and chai. I am so excited to begin to understand what medical missions looks like, experience Nepali culture and see how God is working in Nepal!
Ellie Peterson: I am a current sophomore at Calvin College majoring in Biochemistry. I am from Denver, Colorado, and my favorite activities include eating delicious food, playing the piano, reading, playing tennis, hiking, and skiing. One of my most significant accomplishments to date is being born a whole two minutes before my sister Hannah (see above). I am looking forward to observing Christian medical mission work firsthand and learning more about Nepali culture.
Sam VanderGriend: Howdy! I am a sophomore at Calvin College pursuing a major in Biology and participating in the Pre-Med program. I hail from Bellingham, WA, which is approximately two hours north of Seattle. Favorite pastimes of mine include reading books (always looking for recommendations!), playing the piano, and running (yes, even in the MI snow). I am super-excited to travel to Nepal and see a completely different part of the world! I look forward to sharing the experience with such a fun, passionate group of students and professionals. It’s going to be an adventure!
Rachel Schilling: I’m a senior studying Biochemistry with a Psychology minor on a Pre-Med/PA track. I have a passion for mental health and I’m hoping to specialize in psychiatric medicine. I’m from Toledo, OH and some of the things I love to do are reading and running. I’m so excited to have the opportunity to travel to a different country (for the first time ever 🙂 ) and learn about medicine in a new context. I’m also really looking forward to getting to know my fellow travelers better!
Kayla DeWyn: I’m a senior Nursing major from lovely little Grand Haven, MI. I have enjoyed and been challenged by all of my clinical rotations so far, but I especially adore children and specifically hope to work in pediatric hematology-oncology. My initial interest in nursing was sparked by a missions trip to Belize where I encountered medical need, so I am eager to explore this area of God’s kingdom work further. I anticipate it will be full of both unspeakable hurt and inexplicable joy, and I am doing my best to embark with humility and open-mindedness. In my free time, you’ll find me reading, running, dancing, or drinking coffee with friends and family.
Rachel Hoogmoed: I am a senior nursing major from Ada, Michigan who hopes to pursue adult health after graduation. I am looking forward to the challenges, hardships, and joys this trip will bring and being able to spend it with this group of students and leaders as we explore God’s work in medical missions. I’m particularly interested in exploring how healthcare is practiced in a different country such as Nepal and how their culture plays a role in that. I hope this experience will widen my perspectives and increase my compassion as a future nurse to the different cultures that I will encounter in the States. In my free time, I like to spend time with family and friends, sing in choirs, play the piano, and explore God’s great creation.
Jacob Stout: I’m a third-year student from San Diego, CA studying Pre-Med and pursuing a major in Psychology and a minor in Spanish. I’m excited to experience life on a continent thats new to me! I had a great experience studying in South America through Calvin already, and I can’t wait to see how this new setting will compare, especially with a focus in the practice of medicine. Back at Calvin I am a student athlete- I pole vault for the track and field team and play intramurals regularly. What’s left of my time after studying and sports is usually just spent with friends wherever we may be.
Maddie Hartwig: Hi hi! I’m Maddie, a senior nursing student at Calvin, from Edina, MN. For as long as I’ve wanted to be a nurse I’ve wanted to work abroad and have been traveling since I was a wee little one. I am incredibly passionate about the underserved and have a specific passion for children and sex trafficking. I run marathons for this cause around the world, to help bring awareness. I am very excited about this opportunity to experience nursing and medicine outside of the U.S. and modern limitations. I am grateful for the ways the Lord will humble me and the people he will bring me to that will melt my heart.