A Nurse’s Unexpected Calling

Work and faith are one. Q&A with JoVeta Wescott

by JoVeta Wescott

JoVeta Wescott is the executive director of Kansas Parish Nurse Ministry and a faith community nurse for over 20 years. Her life’s work also includes a thriving parish nursing outreach ministry in Pakistan, where she is heavily involved with relationship-building.

Q: We believe that all humans benefit from the value of work. Christians often approach their work, whether a paid position or another role that brings significance to their lives, as a vocation. How did you discern the call to the work you do now?

A: I was a registered nurse for many years. One day my boss said they wanted me to interview for a new job. I said, “I didn’t know I wasn’t going to have my old job!” After interviewing and struggling whether to take it, I drove six hours to a friend’s house for vacation and announced I was starting a new job. I didn’t know what I was going to do, but I knew God was calling me.

Q: How does your daily experience of work offer the opportunity to appreciate your own skills, talents, and gifts?

A: My work is my relationship with God. The more personal my relationship with God is, the more I realize what my skills are. Since my skills change as I age, along with my health, things I did better when I was younger might not be my strong suit anymore. God is teaching me to listen and sometimes just to sit it out.

Q: What gifts have you been surprised to discover in your life as you serve God and others?

A: I was never going to teach! I was offered a full scholarship and a guaranteed post-graduation job when I was a senior in high school to become a speech pathologist, but I turned it down because I was going to be a nurse. Now all I do is teach! Later I had a huge call on my heart to go to Pakistan and teach parish nursing and that has grown into a lifelong ministry as well. Teaching the Foundations for Faith Community Nursing class, I’ve been perfectly happy, and I laugh about it.

Q: How do you manage time for Sabbath and restoration?

A: Because I’m always listening and working on my relationship with God and deepening it, I don’t think about Sabbath as taking time for, but being present to

Q: What would you tell someone who feels called to work similar to yours?

A: Go for it! I am passionate about parish nursing, and I encourage others. I think that speaks volumes. More often than not, I have a Pakistani student living with me, which shows how much I love what I’ve been called to do. 

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