Therapists On A Mission:
Bridget Norton, PTA in Colombia
Passion and joy is what you hear in Bridget Norton's voice as she talks about her upcoming mission trip to Bogotá, Colombia.
A long-time employee of Physical Therapy Care & Aquatic Rehab of Fort Bend, this mission, scheduled for the beginning of August, will be her second trip to Colombia and her eighth foreign mission.
"In 1976 I suffered a major accident and that experience led me to become a Physical Therapy Assistant," said Bridget. "I am about patients and I identify with their situation. I want to help them regain their life. I try to treat them as a patient, not a prisoner."
Bridget started going on mission trips for a similar reason - to help others in their lives.
"Missions require sacrifice: for the whole week all you do is serve others," continued Bridget. "However selfishly, I find that I am the one that benefits: It makes me become more connected and realigned."
Bridget has been participating in missions since 1983. "Doing mission work gets under your skin," she explained. "The people you work with are intoxicating and having them by your side gives you courage."
Bridget's other missions include trips to Mexico as well as to far-flung corners of the world such as Cambodia, India and Africa.
"Foreign mission trips aren't for everyone," she added. "They take you out of your comfort zone because you eat strange food, sleep in strange places and live as the locals do."
"I chose this mission because it is affordable, close and powerful. The people we serve in Colombia are so relational and engaged. They have time and welcome conversation. They bring their friends to talk with us and they are hungry for knowledge."
Organized by e3Partners, the purpose of this mission is to build the communities of the small Christian churches in Colombia. Other services include distributing teaching basic public health practices, providing bibles in local languages and tools for the local churches.
The mission trips also indirectly benefit the patients here. According to Patti Kocich, President of Physical Therapy Care & Aquatic Rehab of Fort Bend, "We fully support our therapists when they go on these missions. They are kind, caring people who love to serve others."
"Our patients here in Richmond, Katy and Fulshear always reap the reward for these trips since our therapists return renewed, refreshed and enthusiastic about helping them recover."