Food, fellowship, and faith are defining facets of the NCF student life group that took root last year at Baylor University’s School of Nursing in Dallas,Texas. Mary Moon, a senior Baylor nursing student and one of the group leaders, said they call themselves a life group “because we’re walking through life together.”
The seed for the group germinated last fall when Baylor University School of Nursing assistant professor Dr. Shelby Garner, PhD, RN, CNE, talked about global engagement in class. Mary resonated with that topic and sought out the professor to discuss missions. At Dr. Garner’s suggestion, Mary agreed to pray about starting a group.
“Over that semester, I prayerfully asked God for wisdom for leaders who could join me. Three other students came to my mind.” At the start of the winter semester last year, the four nursing students, launched the group.
Mary said the Baylor life group is unique among other campus organizations. “Because we meet in a home setting, the environment draws people. It’s intimate and the fellowship we have together sets us apart. We’re not focused on preaching; we try to create an environment where each person feels appreciated and loved and part of the community.”
“On our first meeting day this school year, we had many new J1 (first year) students. We read John 15:1-17 together, exploring how Jesus showed friendship to us since genuine friendship was the topic for that season. Ultimately, we all came to the conclusion that we had to abide in His love. By abiding in His love, we experience life to its fullest and will be able to demonstrate His love to our neighbors. Towards the end of our meeting, we made bracelets/keychain as a constant reminder to abide in His love.”
Being real has also distinguished the Baylor group. “Many times nurses and students have a reputation for just pouring out complaints into other’s lives about studying and work. That can be very draining. In our group, we have a great desire to be honest, to reveal some of the fragility and brokenness we all have experienced, and through this safe community, we can find healing.
Mary admits that she has needed a place, too, to be honest and receive grace. “I’ve struggled a lot, feeling like I had to have it all together. I realized I needed community around me to remind me of God’s grace and to ask for help. NCF has been very helpful to me in that way.”
Looking ahead, Mary said the group is actively praying for new leaders, hoping God will bring first year students who can provide continuity in leadership.
Also supporting the Baylor student group are Melissa Neathery, MSN, RN, a clinical assistant professor and chaplain Sahr Mbriwa, both at Baylor University’s Louise Herrington School of Nursing.