As we continue to recognize the remarkable women in our communities, we’re featuring a woman who has made it her mission to help people all over the world.

She has helped those in need right here in North Dakota and others from as far away as Haiti and Africa.

Patricia Clark has been helping those who are less fortunate for decades, and much of that assistance has come in the form of missions.

“I always have been fascinated by the missions. To walk and live among the poor is I don’t know. It’s an experience. It’s like almost indescribable. The kids have come running up to us, you know, and you kids are kids, the world around, and it was really easy to love them,” she said.

Love them, and help them get an education. Patricia works with her parish, Corpus Christi, to help sponsor school fees for kids in Africa and has even assisted with building a school in Haiti.

And no matter where they are in the world, she has found that all kids have many things in common.

“They all like chocolate chip cookies,” Patricia said with a laugh.

When not traveling on a mission, Patricia is helping people here at home and abroad. She’s currently helping to provide clean water for people in Africa.

“We’re doing water filters and we’re also doing a project with water barrels to get water barrels so they can catch water off their roof,” she said.

Over the years, she and her husband Ron have also hosted several foreign exchange students from all over the world.

In that time, they had both considered adopting, so…

“We said, why don’t we adopt a couple kids and give them a chance for an education?” they said.

Patricia and Ron adopted two girls from Colombia, ages 10 and 11, and soon after she gave birth to a baby girl.

“The baby came six months later and it was really their sister because they went to the pregnancy with me,” she said.

Patricia is also heavily involved in the refugee ministry at her church.

She and others in the ministry saw a need they knew they could fill.

“Here’s this entire family, three bedrooms, and, you know, with three or four people in each bedroom, all sleeping on the floor. So that’s how it started,” Patricia said.

Then she and her husband sponsored a family from Kosovo, with who they are still friends today.

“We help them buy a car, we help them buy a house, we help them,” she added.

But there was a problem.

“We had cars donated and they couldn’t drive them because they didn’t have a license.”

They quickly realized the North Dakota driving test was in English, a language many refugees don’t speak.

“We needed to get the license in the language of the people. And so we did work really hard,” she added.

She and several others set off to do just that, and ultimately, a bill was passed to offer the driver’s license test in other languages.

In addition to all of her service at home and abroad, Patricia volunteers to help the teachers with art at the St. Bernard Mission School in Ft. Yates.

“You walk into St. Bernard Mission School, ‘Yay, it’s art time!’ All the kids are really excited for art. It’s just, it’s just neat,” she said.

And even after battling cancer two years ago, Patricia went right back to helping others.

“The therapist asked me has just slowed you down any? I said, I don’t think so. I just decided I’m just gonna keep talking,” she said.

And it doesn’t end there.

Patricia also spends time volunteering at Sanford Hospital, spending time with patients, she recently helped a friend gain U.S. citizenship and even gardens in her downtime.