Week 5 - God on the move in the NHS

As a student worker, my prayer during freshers week is always that new students find hope in Jesus and home in the local church. As thousands of freshers move to the city every September there is a huge opportunity to reach them with the love of Jesus. 

BUT…this year I have been surprised by the number of 2nd and 3rd year students trying church who just *didn’t find a church* in previous years or had simply *never explored faith* before. 

One of these students is a 3rd-year nurse we will call Emily. Emily has no background in faith whatsoever, her only experience of church is when she was in primary school and went on a school trip to their local parish church.

One day just before summer, Emily was on placement in the hospital and, after a long week, her last shift ended with her sitting beside an old lady as she passed away before her. Something about the old lady's demeanour as she passed away intrigued Emily and caused her to consider deeper questions about her life.

Later, Emily headed to the hospital chaplaincy in an attempt to try and understand more about what had happened and why she was so confused. Emily had always heard the team praying with families and patients in the hospital and had always enjoyed listening to them talk about hope and faith. The chaplaincy team was a huge help in answering some of Emily’s questions, and they pointed her towards going to church to find out more. 

Emily didn’t know where to start when it came to finding a church but she remembered that one of her course-mates had always said he was a Christian, so she approached him to find out more. From there Emily was invited to a testimony night the CU was putting on during fresher's week. As student after student stood up and shared their testimony, Emily began to feel more intrigued but also more sure that this God thing was real.

It was after this that she messaged me as a local student worker saying:

‘Hi my name is Emily, I have only just started out with Christianity and have everything to learn. I am completely new to this and I feel very confused. I went to the testimony night in freshers week and I think that was for a reason. I wondered if it would be okay for me to come along next week to church’

We have since met up for coffee and then last Sunday she came to church for the first time. God is good!

*******

There are five people in this story who made a difference in Emily’s life. Five people from different walks of life who all, in the way they lived and died, caused Emily to want to know more.

Who could you be in this story? How might it change someone's life?

 - Maybe you’re the old lady and have no idea the impact you have on those around you?

 - Could you, like the chaplain, be a go-to person who is ready to get alongside others who are questioning their existence and purpose?

 - Could you be the course-mate in lectures who isn’t afraid to let other people know they are a Christian?

 - Could you be one of the students willing to be courageous and share their testimony in front of others?

 - Could you be a student worker ready to welcome not just the new Christian freshers trying to find a church, but the new believers wanting to know more about Jesus off the back of missional initiatives?

…Or perhaps you are Emily? Intrigued and curious to find out more about Jesus and try church? Good news! You can connect to a local church where you are here.

Every week of the academic year, we are sharing a story of student mission. If you have a story to share, let us know

Mads Baker

Partnership Developer

During Mads' time at Uni, the local church played an integral part in allowing Mads' faith to become her own. She is now passionate about equipping churches to do the same for others, in order to see the lives of students transformed during their time at uni.

Partner with Mads