Dr. Bandy returns from sabbatical

“Not teaching, I felt a void. It was affirming. I wouldn’t want any other life than the life that I have. I wouldn’t want to teach anywhere else than OBU.”

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Dr. Alan Bandy discusses his sabbatical from last fall. /Alena Blakley,  The Bison 

By Anna Brewster, Assistant Faith Editor

One office in Montgomery Hall was almost always empty last semester. Dr. Alan Bandy, Rowena R. Strickland Associate Professor of New Testament, went on his first academic sabbatical in the fall of 2016.

Most days during his sabbatical, Bandy spent up to 10 hours at home working on three books he is writing. He needed some time away from campus to work on them and meet his publishers’ deadlines.

(A sabbatical is a leave of absence taken by a professor to reinvigorate his or her teaching and to allow time for research and travel.)

OBU requires a professor to be of senior faculty status and of at least associate professor rank before being able to request a sabbatical. Bandy fulfilled those requirements and is now in his eighth year at OBU.

“I’m very appreciative that the university allowed me to do it,” he said. “Not every school does this. The administration made it a priority and made it available.”

Sometimes, professors move elsewhere during their sabbatical to better focus on projects and to have access to resources other than the ones at their resident university.

Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary offered Bandy a place to stay as a “visitor’s sabbatical,” but he decided to remain in Shawnee with his wife and five kids.

Many professors taking an academic sabbatical will focus all of their efforts on one specific project.

Bandy, however, is working on three different books. One is a Greek reader of the writings of the Apostolic fathers.

“Most of my time was spent on a book that I’ll use for my second-year Greek class,” he said.

The Greek reader includes rare words occurring 30 times or less throughout the Greek New Testament.

It is assigned to help develop Greek reading skills without having to read three or four different texts.

“It wasn’t hard work, in that I didn’t have to do a lot of research, but it was tedious,” Bandy said.

Another book is on the ministry and life of the apostle Paul. The third is a theology and history of interpretation of Revelation, a work in progress for the last seven years.

Two of the classes  Bandy has taught – Life and Literature of Paul and Apocalyptic Literature – are directly related to the books he is writing.

Senior Biblical studies major Kaleb Miears has taken both classes and can attest to Bandy’s expertise and love of teaching.

“What he teaches is clearly communicated, and you become intrigued because he is so passionate about the work he is doing,” Miears said. “To see a professor teach, do research and continually write is very motivational for the students.”

Even now as he is back on campus, Bandy continues to work on these books in addition to teaching and spending time with students.

“I try to have my office hours so I can meet with students, but I always like to try to carve a few hours out a day to try to get some writing done,” he said. “It’s just a challenge in the heat of the semester…so it’s been slow going.”

While the sabbatical was a lot of work, it also allowed  Bandy a new luxury – replacing time usually spent grading papers with reading new books unrelated to his research.

“It was really nice to have that time to refresh my spirit,” he said. “It was an oasis. I didn’t feel the pressure and the stress. For once, I didn’t feel rushed or overwhelmed. It was really nice, and it charged me up for teaching again.”

Some might wonder – what kind of books does a professor of religion read for pleasure.

“[I read] some historical fiction books about Cicero by Robert Harris that were well-written and historically accurate,” Bandy said.

“I saw a lot of parallels between the corruption in politics and the mess that we see.”

Occasionally, a professor will take a second sabbatical several years after their first. Bandy would consider it, but he would do it differently, he said.

“I would do…a full year sabbatical,” Bandy said. “I would only teach two classes a semester. That way I would still teach and have time [to work on projects].”

The semester-long break from classes allowed Bandy a chance to realize what was so important to him about teaching.

After more than 15 years of either taking or teaching classes, this sabbatical gave him some unexpected withdrawal, he said.

“It reminded me that I feel made to do academic life,” Bandy said. “Not teaching, I felt a void. It was affirming. I wouldn’t want any other life than the life that I have. I wouldn’t want to teach anywhere else than OBU.”

Faculty brings ‘a taste of Africa’ to OBU

“As Black African faculty, we decided to do something to assist this Black History month,” Dr. Mbote said. “It’s not only me; it’s a contribution of all the Black faculty.”

By Morgan Smith, Faith Editor

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Students and staff enjoyed authentic African food at the Taste of Africa event. / Courtesy Photo

Montgomery Hall was filled with the smell of home-cooked food on Wednesday, Feb. 22, during OBU’s Taste of Africa event.

The event was hosted as part of Black History Month, following OBU’s State of Black Economy in Oklahoma lecture at 4 p.m.

OBU’s faculty members were responsible for bringing a Taste of Africa to the campus.

Dr. Yvonne Mbote, an assistant professor of chemistry from Cameroon, said the faculty spent three months planning the event.

“As Black African faculty, we decided to do something to assist this Black History month,” Dr. Mbote said. “It’s not only me; it’s a contribution of all the Black faculty.”

Other faculty members involved were Dr. Roland Ngebichie-Njabon, Dr. Galen Jones, Dr. Daryl Green, Dr. Camille Lafleur and Dean Lepaine McHenry.

“The faculty members of African descent were just thinking about ways that they could get to know the students, and so we talked about the possibility of a number of different events,” Jonathan Solomon, the assistant dean of students: diversity and multicultural student services, said.

“What we landed on was utilizing an event that we already had, but bringing students together afterwards to showcase some of the cultural foods from Africa, from Cameroon.”

A variety of dishes were served at the event, including chin chin, a desert dish.

Dr. Ngebichie-Njabon said his wife provided a dish made of plantains and chicken marinated in tomato sauce.

“We wanted to showcase African culture, especially in terms of the food that we cook and eat in Africa,” he said.

The Spiritual Life office also supported the event and provided the space for it.

Dean Solomon said he believes cultural events like the Taste of Africa help encourage students to take part in mission trips to other countries by generating conversations about them.

“This is an opportunity for OBU to engage students in other cultures,” he said. “I think that at OBU, we talk about ways to get out students off campus into communities and being able to serve communities and be evangelists in communities all across the world.”

Another goal of the event was to help faculty members connect with the students in attendance.

“I think that at a lot of bigger schools, faculty members do what they have to do in classrooms and then they leave,” Dean Solomon said. “Our faculty members are engaged, they want to engage the OBU community and be mentors and those type of figures to the student body.”

Both Dr. Mbote and Dr. Ngebichie-Njabon said they’d be open to participating in similar events in the future.

“I’m happy to be with OBU and the faculty, and I think organizing an event like this is very important.” Dr. Ngebichie-Njabon said. “It does show the students and folks at OBU other cultures, especially African cultures and it also helps to increase awareness and diversity.”

Dean Solomon said he hoped students were able to use Taste of Africa to connect to both African and OBU culture.

“I hope that they took away an appreciation for Cameroonian culture, an appreciation for the faculty members” Dean Solomon said. “I hope that students take away the care that OBU is about.”

OBU hosts student ministry conference

“Our most direct goal is for churches to be encouraged and equipped in their ministry to students, but our ultimate goal is that the students involved in their ministries would be impacted for the cause of Christ,” Pace said.

By Morgan Smith, Faith Editor

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Ben Trueblood speaks at the conference. / Preston Morris, The Bison 

“Regardless of your ministry context, church size, denomination or years of experience, it is possible for you to have a healthy student ministry,” Ben Trueblood, the director of Student Ministry for Lifeway Christian Resources, said in the description of his book, Student Ministry that Matters: Three Elements of a Healthy Student Ministry.

Tuesday, Feb. 21, OBU hosted Trueblood as part of its own Student Ministry that Matters Conference.

The conference took place in the Mabee Suite in the Noble Complex from 1:00 p.m.-4:30 p.m.

OBU’s own Dr. Scott Pace, the Reverend A.E. and Dora Johnson Hughes Chair of Christian Ministry and an associate professor of applied ministry, led the conference.

Dr. Heath Thomas, the Dean of the Hobbs College of Theology and Ministry and a professor of Old Testament, was also involved in the planning of the event.

Andy Harrison, program director at Falls Creek, and the program assistant, Todd Sanders, were invited to attend as well.

According to Trueblood’s book, Student Ministry that Matters gives ministry leaders the opportunity to examine the health of their student ministry program, especially one that is growing in numbers, such as OBU’s student ministry.

“This was a conference designed for pastors, church leaders, and anyone involved in ministering to students,” Pace said. “Last year, the Hobbs College began hosting what we hope will become an annual ‘Next Generation Conference’ with various themes each year. Our focus is serving local churches by training leaders and offering resources to reach and teach the next generation.”

Among the topics discussed were current trends in student ministry, philosophies of student ministry and preventing student ministry burnout.

However, the professors and ministry professionals were not the only ones in attendance at the conference.

“Many students attended from various majors in an effort to grow in their own understanding of reaching and teaching teens,” Dr. Pace said.

Pace said his role with the university allowed him to become involved in the conference.

“As the chair of the Christian and Cross-Cultural Ministry department, I have the privilege of coordinating partnerships with local churches and helping to facilitate opportunities for us to serve them,” he said.

Pace said that he hopes the conference was an encouragement to the students in attendance.

“Our most direct goal is for churches to be encouraged and equipped in their ministry to students, but our ultimate goal is that the students involved in their ministries would be impacted for the cause of Christ,” Pace said.

Music students sing with memory loss patients

“We are going to be working to continue this wonderful program of music that helps those with dementia or Alzheimer’s to increase their memory and enable them to have a more enriched quality of life,” Scherler said.

By Chelsea Weeks, Assistant Features Editor 

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Dr. Kathy Scherler comforts a patient at the Oklahoma Baptist Village. / Courtesy Photo

 

Music is often seen as an outlet, or encouraging or calming. Yet to Assistant Professor of Music Education, Kathy Scherler, it is seen as the bridge to humanity.

Over the course of the semester, several students from Oklahoma Baptist University will be traveling to the Baptist Village Home in Oklahoma City to sing songs and play music for residents who struggle with Dementia and Alzheimer’s and work with them through the Music and Memory program.

February 23, March 7, April 6 and May 4 from 4 pm-7 pm, students will meet behind Raley, load up in a van and travel to the Baptist Village Home.

Upon arrival, students will play music and sing for the residents. Later in the evening, students will pair up with a resident and show them how to use an iPod that has personalized playlists with music they grew up listening to.

“What really is meaningful is the human contact and how the music reminds them of their most beautiful memories,” Scherler said.

This idea of becoming involved at Baptist Village Home was based on the need for music education majors to see the benefits of pre-music therapy activities, yet has become a way to bless others and grow.

“My main reason for starting the Music and Memory project with our OBU music education students is that I was looking for a service learning project for our students,” Scherler said. “I believe very strongly that service learning is an important part of the university education. While we are here in this college setting, increasing our intellectual capacity, it is also important to develop our empathy and live out our OBU mission through sharing our knowledge with others.”

Scherler started the process by doing research on different programs that fuse music education and music therapy. She found a program, created by Dan Cohen, called Music and Memory which had an ongoing program at Baptist Village Community in Oklahoma City.

After getting in contact with Dr. Bill Pierce, president of Baptist Village Communities, she was able to create a service learning opportunity that gets OBU students involved.

“We are going to be working to continue this wonderful program of music that helps those with dementia or Alzheimer’s to increase their memory and enable them to have a more enriched quality of life,” Scherler said.

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Courtesy Photo

The goal of this service opportunity is to not only provide a way for students to see the benefits of music, but also to help residents in their communication skills.

“Executive Director of Music and Memory, Dan Cohen, founded the organization in order to awaken memories that may be stimulated by music familiar to residents of places such as the Baptist Village Home,” Eric Yoder, senior vocal music education major, said.

“The familiar music has a calming effect upon the brain and can bring people suffering from challenges in cognitive function to a better awareness with the world that they are losing connections to physically, emotionally, and socially,” he said.  

“This can be used to soothe residents, awaken them enough to eat at mealtime, and to help them become more engaged in conversation with others,” he continued.

“One of the most important things is that it partners caring students willing to share time with these residents who, in many cases, may not be receiving the rich blessing of attention that they deserve in the later stages of their lives.”

Cole Harris, a freshman and member of the Glee Club, explained why he got involved.

“This seems like a good opportunity to help people out. I have memory problems and music helps me remember things.”

Whether it’s to help others or get involved, this is an opportunity that is available through the whole semester, he said.

“In service learning we give, but also learn at the same time. We are increasing the body of knowledge by either participating in research, gifting our time or doing something to make our community a better place,” Scherler said.

This service opportunity is open to anyone interested. Students do not have to be music majors or performers.

Contact Dr. Kathy Scherler at kathy.scherler@okbu.edu or Eric Yoder at eric.yoder@okbu.edu for more information about the Music and Memory program or how to sign up and make a difference in someone’s life.

Ministry majors prep for life after graduation

By Morgan Smith, Faith Editor

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Creative Commons

Most students attend college with one goal in mind: to start a career.

OBU is known for having a high job placement rate, but one area where it excels is the ministry and missions field.

“OBU graduates have been very successful in finding positions, with wonderful mentorship through Hobbs College as well as their own annual career fair,” Marissa Lightsey, the director of Career Development, said.

“I have been very impressed with the success of our students,” Lightsey said. 

Wednesday, Feb. 22, OBU hosted a ministry and non-profit career fair in the Geiger Center from 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

Jarret Corbin is one of a ministry student in his junior year.

While he still has a year until graduation, he said the ministry professors do a great deal to help ministry students to prepare for life after OBU.

“OBU also has many connections with local churches and ministries, so getting in touch with pastors and missionaries is as easy as dialing a phone,” Corbin said. “These connections also help tremendously in placing students in churches when–or often before–they graduate.”

Lightsey advices students to start making ministry connections as early as possible.

“A position in ministry requires a deep commitment,” she said. “Also ministry is a relational career in that it is important to network and develop relationships before seeking a position.”

Dr. Scott Pace is the Reverend A.E. and Dora Johnson Hughes Chair of Christian Ministry and associate professor of applied ministry.

He said mentoring ministry students is one of the most rewarding aspects of his job at OBU.

“To watch students discern their calling, explore their giftedness and begin to serve according to God’s purpose for their lives provides a deep level of satisfaction and fulfillment,” Pace said. “It is amazing to witness the joy of their discovery and the formation that occurs as they walk through the process.”

Of course, Pace said continuing to grow a relationship with Christ is the most important part of a career in ministry.

“If you’re not fully relying on Him and deepening your walk, you won’t make it,” Pace said. “You’re love for Christ will drive your love for people and be the ultimate measure of success in God’s economy.”

He also warns students that choosing a path in ministry means forfeiting some comforts, like income and notoriety.

“Fundamental qualities it also requires include a substantive knowledge of the Scriptures, organizational skills, people skills, flexibility and patience,” Pace said.

However, Corbin said that OBU reputation makes it an asset on any resume.

“It does take more than a fancy diploma to be a good minister though,” Corbin said. “They must be humble before God and people, willing to serve in any capacity required of them, able to teach and be taught, and set a godly example and not be reckless.”

In addition, Pace advices students to maximize their time at OBU.

“I encourage students to look for opportunities to serve while they’re here, whether in a formal or volunteer capacity,” he said.

“Students must also be willing to say ‘yes’ to whatever God calls them to, even if it doesn’t immediately look like what they’ve always envisioned.”

He said that specific ministry fields will flow from students’ experiences at OBU and their willingness to serve others.

“We also are intentional in helping our students make strategic connections with ministry and missional partners that recognize OBU graduates as the most prepared and equipped to serve,” Pace said.

Column: How to deal with anger

Christ and thoughtful dialogue changed the way Prof. Draper dealt with anger, and in turn it changed his marriage for the better.

Professor Stephen Draper, Contributing Writer

I can’t forget how lovely my wedding day was.

A small church in the Amish countryside. My bride glowing in the dress.

It was a day of beautiful fantasy, like the sheltering arms of a mother to her child.

The world’s harshness couldn’t touch us. Not that day. But like all fairy tales, the story ends and real life begins.

We hadn’t even finished eating all the wedding cake in our freezer when we had our first married fight.

She said something.

I didn’t like it.

I got mad. I yelled. She cried.

This cycle would repeat itself for some time until I apologized just to appease her. How self-centered she was, I thought. She never admitted her faults. For several months, this routine played out far too often. We went from that blissful summer day in the country to a life where most of our days we could barely talk to each other.

She kept telling me it was my temper. I could only see her as the cause of my anger. If only I could say something piercing or shout loud enough, she could finally understand. We could finally walk in harmony, like that wedding day, if only she could see things my way.

But none of it was working. It was getting worse.

Just a little over a year in marriage, after a particularly bad bout of words, I relented that we needed counseling. “You need counseling,” my bride corrected.

Again she was defiant to her faults. Anger boiled inside.

But, perhaps I was exhausted from yelling or I just wished to prove myself better, I agreed. “Fine. I’ll get help.”

I wasn’t going to get any actual help. No. Counseling was far too costly.

I had a better idea.

I went to Lifeway Christian Bookstore. I browsed their cheapest books.

I found one called, “The Answer to Anger,” by June Hunt.

That works, I thought. It’s more than she was doing.

I began reading as soon as I got in the car, hoping to return home like some enlightened sage, shattering her defiance with my brilliant insight.

Like any good discussion on anger, the book began by talking about hurts and how we respond. I reflected back on my own upbringing.

I came from an angry household.

My mother yelled. My father yelled. I soon discovered I could yell too.

Arguments ended, not in resolution, but slammed doors, thrown objects or driving off.

In those initial chapters of the book, my eyes were opened.

I realized anger is not actually sinful.

It’s a natural emotion when there is pain.

Even God demonstrated anger in Scripture.

My anger was not the issue. It was my actions.

My actions were only creating more anger, which is why it continued to be present through so much of my life.

The manifestation of my anger was to yell and dominate.

It was here, that I realized, I had been sinning.

Suddenly, I saw a sad truth. My wife was right.

I was the one who needed help. I would often not listen to her; I assumed she meant harm;  I blamed her for pain; I manifested my anger into sharpened poison-tipped words.I had a major stronghold in my life that was crippling me spiritually and strangling my marriage. I was the one destroying the memories of that peaceful June wedding.

There were three key points that I took away from my reading.

First, was to surrender our past and existing pains to God. Second, was changing how we handle anger moving forward: ask. Ask ourselves why we are angry. In doing so, we create a buffer between the moment of anger and our response. We need to both question and pray (ever so quickly) about what a godly reaction would be. Finally, I recognized what perhaps you might have in reading this.

I was seeking counseling from a Christian self-help book. What about the Word of God? That, I’m afraid, I had been slacking off on.

We can’t expect Christ-likeness without actually submitting to Christ. I had neglected time with God and the results were showing. However, I began using this new approach and noticed a surprising change.

My wife said something. I didn’t like it.

Now, I asked why. Why am I upset?

Well, I feel disrespected. I expressed that thought. “That comment made me feel disrespected,” I’d say.

“No, I didn’t mean it that way. I meant to say this,” my wife would respond.

The anger would diffuse, now seeing it was a misunderstanding. Even when it wasn’t, I learned how to better dialogue. Anger would still be felt but not expressed nearly as often.Anger was no longer a constant force.

We began to experience a peace. Laughter and joy returned. In time, we felt a new harmony.

Yes, it’s true my wife and I will never have the fantasy that our wedding album displays. Those pictures are frozen moments, far removed from reality; it’s naïve to think otherwise. We are imperfect beings called to love one another in perfection. It may be an unobtainable goal, but that doesn’t mean the effort is without merit.

Surrendering the anger in my life to God creates space for Him to do remarkable things.I now experience a marriage that is far stronger than the pictures and memories of our wedding ever present.

It isn’t built on romantic bliss (though that is present). It’s built with Christ at its core, where I surrender my emotions to Him and learn to love from the Author of Love.

*Written with the blessing of my best friend and ever beautiful bride, Sarah Draper.

Faith Forward: marriage is not about your happiness

Before getting that “ring by spring”, you might want to hear what Professor Loyd has to say.

Scot Loyd, Contributing Writer

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Professor Scot Loyd writes a weekly column called “Faith Forward.” / Courtesy Photo

In Genesis 2:24, God set out the parameters of perhaps His greatest invention: marriage. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”

This passage was referenced by Christ in Matthew 19:4 in His response to inquiries about divorce and re-marriage from the religious leaders of the day.

Jesus made it clear that God’s intention from the beginning was one-man plus one woman for one lifetime equals marriage.

The Apostle Paul endorsed this equation as well in his writings to the church at Ephesus in Ephesians 5:31 adding in verse 32, “This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.”

Marriage, then, is ultimately about reflecting the relationship between Christ and His church.

Contrast this view with the view espoused by what passes as entertainment in the movie theaters, television, and romance novels.

In modern pop-culture, marriage is something far less romantic than the casual liaison, an institution not to be honored, but one that has been castigated and maligned, as dull, boring and uninspiring.

Sadly, for many who have bought in to the culture’s message, this has become their understanding, expectation and experience in marriage, leading them to divorce.

For many, marriage is more about individual happiness than it is about reflecting God’s holiness.

God’s intention in marriage is not our happiness but our joy, and joy can only be found in Christ.

The difference between happiness and joy is that happiness is centered in the self and is fleeting, coming and going with the volatility of our emotions, while joy is centered in Christ, is lasting, steady and complete.

According to Jesus in John 15, the key to our lasting joy is abiding in Him.

Beginning in verse 9, Jesus says, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.

“If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in His love.

“These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.”

In this passage Jesus makes it clear that He is in a loving relationship with the Father.

And only because He is a position to receive love can He adequately and effectively give love.

The same is true for us in the context of our relationships, especially the marriage relationship.

We cannot expect to love our spouse, unless we have first experienced the love of Christ in our lives.

This is essential to a joyful marriage.

Too many couples are treating their relationship with Christ as a supplement, much like a daily vitamin to be consumed in an effort to improve overall health.

But supplements are of no value, if you cannot breath.

Christ is not a supplement to our marriages; He is the life giving oxygen that we breathe.

Without Christ, true lasting joy in our marriage will wither and die.

I met my wife over 30 years ago. We have been married for 26 of those years. When I reflect on my youthful expectations of marriage, it is clear that my motives were selfish.

I married for a variety of reasons all under the pretext of what I called love, but really it was more about how I could benefit than how I could serve.

I wanted to marry because I desired independence, I desired to be praised for the beauty and talent my wife possessed and I also desired to exploit my wife’s gifts for the promotion of myself.

It is unlikely if you had asked me then about my purpose for marriage that I would have been that honest, but in hindsight it is the truth.

Thankfully, by God’s grace, my wife and I, through some very painful and trying seasons, have come to understand that purpose is not to be found in each other but in Christ alone.

Only when we are both in a position to abide in Christ can we come together as “one flesh.”

In those difficult moments of our marriage, it was due to one or both of us pursuing our own idea of what it meant to be happy rather than endeavoring to understand what it means to be holy.

If we are in Christ, then He will see to it that all of our lives, including our marriage relationships, are conformed to His image.

This is the work of sanctification, or making us more like Christ on a daily basis.

This is the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives and in our marriages to make us united with one another and united with Christ.

This is God’s purpose in marriage – that Christ would be glorified.

Nursing students bring spiritual healing

“I’ve seen patients get upset or emotional, and the nurse, just by being there, is able to provide a calming presence.”

By Morgan Smith, Faith Editor

“Heal the sick in it and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you,” Luke 10:9.

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In Stavros Hall, a nursing student practices using her stethoscope. / Courtesy Photo

OBU is famous for its nursing program, and the university’s student nurses are able to use their roles to spread the Word.

Junior Hannah Adams is a nursing major, but she also intends to become a career missionary after graduation.

“It’ll definitely create a platform for me to be able to work in different countries, especially countries that are harder for missionaries to get into,” Adams said.

“Nursing just creates a great way for you to get into countries, but also just a great way for you to get connected with the culture and the people there.”

She said nursing allows her to help people spiritually, as well as physically, by treating them with compassion.

“I think even if in our clinical setting we’re not able to verbally talk about the Gospel, we’re able to demonstrate the care and love of Jesus not just to our patients but also to our co-workers,” Adams said.

Junior Sarah Pruitt is another nursing major who started her clinicals last spring. Clinicals allow nursing students to shadow experienced nurses in the field.

She said she was attracted to the nursing field and its opportunities to help people. Pruitt compared nursing to being the Lord’s hands and feet.

“Often times what we do isn’t the prettiest or something that you necessarily want to broadcast,” Pruitt said.

“But they’re necessary, vital things that can mean the world to people, from bandaging wounds to helping them clean up after themselves or giving them medication that can help them rid the disease processes that they may have.

While neither Pruitt nor Adams have seen direct ministry in the clinicals so far, they both said that nursing allows them to show Christ’s love through actions.

“For the most part, the nurses that I’ve been with and shadowed have really been very compassionate to their patient,” Pruitt said.

“They often times will form not a relationship that’s not a friend, because you have to be professional, but just that therapeutic relationship of being there and listening to their concerns and doing their very best to address them in an effective and efficient manner.”

After clinicals, the nursing students have post-conferences where they discuss what they’ve learned.

Adams said each nursing ward has their own distinct cultures, that can sometimes involve gossip.

“We’ve talked about in our recap post-conferences how, when we do start working with other nurses, that if a gossiping culture is on a ward that we’re working on, how we can set an example of not being drawn into that and becoming a part of that,” Adams said.

Sometimes, Pruitt said, just being present is what patients need.

“I’ve seen patients get upset or emotional, and the nurse, just by being there, is able to provide a calming presence,” Pruitt said.

“It’s not necessarily something they say or something they do, it’s just being there and doing their very best to provide for their immediate needs.”

In addition, Pruitt said she enjoys getting to learn more about God’s Creation through her nursing work.

“It’s not just giving meds, it’s not just different skills, there’s a spiritual component to it,” she said. “Plus you are exposed to medicine and the human body, and I find it fascinating, the different ways God has made our bodies and the way He orchestrates every process.  I think it’s neat to be a part of.”