1. De Haan, Julie
  2. Friesen, Pamela K.
  3. Drewes, Jillian

Article Content

Rooted in Hope

By Jillian Drewes, a senior in the BSN program at Bethel University, and employed as a nursing assistant at Abbott-Northwestern Hospital, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Figure. No caption a... - Click to enlarge in new windowFigure. No caption available.

I first heard the phrase a long obedience in the same direction (Peterson, 2000), when I attended a gathering of Team World Vision leaders. While participating in a fund-raising run for clean water projects in Africa, I've become familiar with this phrase. I've also used it in nursing school. Since I was a little girl, I've been passionate about understanding the way the human body works and about helping others. This God-given passion has led to beautiful moments and incredible opportunities, including a second chance at becoming a nurse. God has been faithful as promised: "He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus" (Philippians 1:6, NIV).


After my first semester of prerequisite courses and a job that turned out to be a poor fit, I was convinced that I not only was incapable, but also utterly uninterested, in healthcare. Thinking I had misinterpreted God's direction, I changed my major and completed two semesters in reconciliation, Bible, and theological studies. It was during this new season I realized (at my grandmother's bedside, as she lay peacefully dying) that I was indeed called to care for sick people in their most vulnerable moments. I never expected such a revelation to come from performing oral care with swabs and applying petroleum jelly to cracked, dry lips. When my acceptance letter to a nursing program arrived barely a month after my grandmother's death, I smiled briefly and burst into tears-I wanted to tell her that I had done it; I was accepted into nursing!


One of the most difficult things about being a nurse is that we are forced to face our humanity, repeatedly. No matter how many hands we hold, loved ones we reassure, and healthy patients we discharge from the hospital after a miraculous turnaround, we cannot save every patient. I recently lost a patient for the first time. Many times over several months, I've repeated these words from Galatians 6:9 (NIV), "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up" (emphasis added). I persist toward my calling of caring for the sick and fostering wellness for the same reasons I run with Team World Vision and raise money to develop water projects.


While briefly stepping away from nursing, I was moved by the suffering our society disregards. When I first said yes to running with Team World Vision, I had no idea I'd experience much more than the excitement of tackling the root causes of poverty by providing clean water. Now that I've almost completed my BSN, I can't imagine life without this ministry. Amazingly, through Team World Vision, $50 radically transforms the life of a child who receives a reliable source of clean water. The combined transformation of my life is beyond what I could have imagined. After facing several tragedies in short succession, my emotional thermometer becomes out of whack. Sometimes I am overwhelmed by feelings I struggle to identify. The people with whom I run have become my tribe, my dearly beloved. They continually help me see the humanity in these overwhelming feelings of gratitude, sadness, joy, and grief. Through them, I repeatedly experience an outpouring of grace.


My running and my nursing will not save everyone. However, it is in the service of others that God meets us. With each step of obedience, we walk on holy ground; I am honored to serve with you. If we run with perseverance, we make a difference.


"Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?'"

Figure. No caption a... - Click to enlarge in new windowFigure. No caption available.

-Martin Luther King Jr.


King Jr., M. L. (n.d.). Find quotes. Retrieved from


Peterson E. (2000). A long obedience in the same direction: Discipleship in an instant society. Downers Grove, IL: IV Press. [Context Link]