Editor's note: This story first appeared in the spring 2020 issue of the Concordian, the official magazine of Concordia University Wisconsin.

As prospective students come to campus, we offer a session for students and parents to learn about our extracurricular campus ministry opportunities. Some are larger and well- known— Women’s Ministry, Men’s Ministry, and Haven. Some are more “splashy”—Homeless Ministry or mission trips. Others involve a small but faithful band of students who live out their faith in a niche related to a passion—like nursing home ministry.

When I’m describing the ministries, I often say, “If you come to college and you’re far away from your family, and especially if you might miss your grandparents, think about being involved in nursing home ministry.” It’s not something that attracts a lot of attention. But every Thursday a group of students travels to a nearby nursing home to offer something that is always precious: time.

When I talk with students and see how packed their days are— sometimes from 7 a.m. or earlier until 9 or 10 p.m., and then studying. Jam into that the joy of an abundant life with friends, and their lives can easily be described as beyond busy!

Compare that to the typical day of an older person—someone in a nursing home—where time can drag on. Or sometimes be a burden. Or where there may be only one “thing” or event that seems to happen in the day.

Put those two together and you have students and the elderly who each can gain a different perspective on time. For an hour or so, faith can bless this time together in being not just conversation or group singing or playing games or praying or sharing faith. It reminds students to slow down and take time for important things, and gain wisdom that can come only with age. It lets older people take joy in how these kind-hearted students bless them in the moment, and will live on and serve God into the future. Young or old, it’s truly a blessing!

Steve Smith


—The spring 2020 Concordian hit mailboxes the end of April. View a PDF version of the magazine here. If you are not on our mailing list, but are interested in receiving a free copy, email Jennifer.Hackmann@cuaa.edu

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