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Al and Kathleen Hartmann

Al and Kathleen Hartmann have been volunteering with CMMB off and on for about 10 years.

Kathleen is a nurse, and Al is a doctor, so they have plenty to offer the people of Swaziland, where they are currently working.

This past fall, during our volunteer orientation, Al and Kathleen returned to talk with our new class of medical volunteers – sharing their experiences with those who were just getting ready to depart.

Swaziland, where they have been primarily working, is a country that has been devastated by poverty and disease, especially HIV/AIDS. As of last year, it had the lowest life expectancy of any country in the world – just 32 years.

Although they do have children and grandchildren here in the United States, they have both chosen to devote their time to serving others through CMMB’s medical volunteer program.

When we spoke with them last year, they had this to say about what keeps them going back:

“What really takes us back is the people we serve. They are some of the poorest, most destitute people you could imagine – but they still care for each other, they still help each other. It’s in their nature – their human nature – to help each other. We visited a woman who was homebound. She was elderly, frail, and we found her lying on a dirt floor. She had oral thrush so badly she could barely swallow her own saliva. But she started singing, in a small voice, a song of Thanksgiving to God for sending her help.  That song has never left our ears."

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