Tasha Werth, MSN, RN, is Assistant Professor of Nursing and NGAP Advisor at Fort Hays State University in Hays, Kansas.
As an advisor at Fort Hays State University, I see many students with stress, anxiety, and depression. Often these students’ struggles dim their hope, grace and strength so they lose perspective, including their sight of Christ’s light. Many conversations focus on students’ being still and finding the positive in their situations.
My desire to do more for students—help them see the light, grow their faith in Christ, and deepen their relationship with him—prompted me to spend a good year asking God to make clear his plans for me. Finally, with courage, I asked our nursing department chair if I could resurrect the NCF student group at FHSU. With her blessing, I was so excited to see where this would take us. My verse that year was “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go” Joshua 1:9, NIV.
Since then, we have aimed to “be the light” to whomever we encounter. Every Monday at 7:30 a.m., we meet for 30 minutes and a group of 15 students interacts and prays. Students have stepped up and stepped out, taking turns to lead the group. They express what is on their hearts, bring Scripture to share, and discuss how we can apply it.
Senior student Kenli told me: “NCF has transformed me by starting my week off right and getting focused on what matters: Jesus. As crazy as school is, it’s nice to have that Monday morning time to fellowship with other believers and learn what God wants for us and has to say to us. It’s great to have the opportunity to be vulnerable with others and if a prayer request is shared, we can pray about it. NCF has had a positive impact on my outlook of school and life. It’s also great to have an instructor with my same beliefs who I can talk to or get encouragement from.”
The students have made a mark on campus and the community by serving others every month. For example, they have
--acted as chaperones at the “Night to Shine” prom night for developmentally disabled individuals
--served at a community meal
--collected items and assembled Blessing Bags to share with the needy
--gathered supplies for a homeless shelter
Most notably, the group found themselves on the city police Facebook page and the 6:00 pm TV news as a result of their Random Acts of Kindness day activity. From leaving sticky notes of kind words throughout campus and secretly depositing microwave popcorn on Red Box machines in town to posting positives quotes and Bible verses with suckers on windshields, and handing appreciation cards to campus police and Hays police officers, the students demonstrated that small acts can impact others and how a small spark can become a bright light.
They are practicing and witnessing Matthew 5:16: “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
God is blessing and producing fruit at Fort Hays; it’s evident in the lives the students impact as they step out, lead, and serve God.
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