Students Encounter Peace

KeptAfter Be Still, NCF’s Student Ministry Retreat 2021, our NCF team was up in the air if we would hold another one. But after reading the retreat feedback and seeing requests for Be Still to be the first of many annual retreats we thought, "Ok, maybe we can do this again." Fast forward to the staff debrief of the Kept spring retreat where again, reading the feedback “Can't wait for the next one!” surprised and delighted us.

What makes a nursing student gathering so compelling? When nursing students come together, there’s an automatic bond and understanding of what one another is going through. Students speak the same language and share the same experiences no matter where they live and go to school. This year, students and faculty met online AND in person around the country. Katharine Provost, NCF National Staff Minister, had the vision for groups to meet in person. She saw these groups as represented by lights scattered across the U.S. in gatherings that would bring hope and peace to worn out and anxious students and faculty. This spring, more than 150 students and faculty joined us for the Kept retreat. 

How did students engage during the retreat? Sharing stories was a central thread. Two NCF alumni who are now NCF staff and practicing nurses shared their stories along with many others. Tiegan shared how mental health played a role in her surviving nursing school and W (name undisclosed for future missions confidentiality) described making her first medication error.

As soon as these students’ videos aired during the online retreat, my phone and email blew up with students and faculty resonating with their stories. Students asked for more information on both topics. This response was a physical representation to the current needs in the nursing field. Tiegan and W were able to share how God met them in their situations. 

How did this retreat impact students? One participant shared specifically how God met her: “When I read Isaiah 27:2-5 and Revelation 4:11-12 during my reflection time, I came away with a realization of my desire to solidify and know my identity (and discontent in that—I’m an oak tree with 17 leaves, frustrated that I’m not a mature oak. But realized that I was anxious that I wasn’t really a servant of the Most High God.). I recognized him, saying “You are mine, and I am yours.”

Our prayer was that Kept would be a space for nursing students and faculty to meet God. We’re grateful that he did just that! Stay tuned for next year’s retreat! 

Jen Wojtysiak BS, ThM, is National Director of Student Ministries for Nurses Christian Fellowship/USA.

Get involved in a student group or find out how to start a group—as a student or as a faculty advisor. Jen and Katharine are eager to connect with you!


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