A Heart for Children and a Faith to Move Mountains

Martina Ruhwald is just 26 years old, but has a clear vision of what her future will look like.  

Martina is a pediatric nurse with Classic LifeCare and has been with the company since December. Her future plans, however, will take her far from Calgary, where she has lived for most of her life.

“God has blessed me with his heart for children,” said Martina, during a sunny July afternoon interview at Classic LifeCare’s Calgary office. “I have a heart for missions and knew I’d either end up teaching or nursing in order to work with children.”

Martina has wanted to open her own orphanage since she was 16 years old.

“I was homeschooled from grades 6 to 12 and my mom would read us stories about Christian missionaries. Even in Grade 6, I was saying I wanted to be a missionary.”

She has been working part-time as an LPN to allow for multiple trips to Africa and Haiti.

In Africa, she volunteered with an organization running babies’ homes, a children’s village and helping women with AIDS. She mainly worked with children abandoned in hospitals, whose mothers died in child birth, who were found in garbage dumps and in toilets are brought to the organization for help.

Classic’s Nursing Supervisor Quinn McLeod says Martina’s clients love working with her and vise versa.

“I love my work with Classic,” smiled Martina. “I nurse and care for children, but my favorite part of the job is the family care where I can offer support to parents and siblings.”

Some of her missions work, including times when she was in charge of 60 toddlers at a time on her own, have built character, which allows stress to roll off her back. Lately, she has been working with a number of palliative babies and is learning to make every moment count with the babies and with their families.

She said the toughest part of her job with Classic is saying goodbye, whether clients recover or pass away.

“I love when I see trust building and people start to feel comfortable with me.”

Martina’s five-year plan includes a move to Australia to study midwifery. From there, she will move to Zambia to open an orphanage, medical and maternity clinic and participate in community work.

 “I am just really happy with what I’m doing now and very excited about the future and where God will take me.”