Connecting Head and Heart for the Gospel
Combining his love for education and ministry, Chaplain Jacob Atuahene-Nsowaah came to learn that, “The Gospel is not always about preaching—not sharing ‘over’ but sharing ‘with.’”
That’s one of the key lessons Atuahene-Nsowaah has learned over his years in pastoral care. He considers the work of a chaplain sacred, as they’re often the last individual patients connect with before passing. These final moments offer opportunities to reflect and share stories, which Atuahene-Nsowaah said helps to deepen his own faith.
As the chaplain educator at Texas Health Huguley Hospital Fort Worth South, Atuahene-Nsowaah supervises the clinical pastoral education (CPE) program, training the chaplains who will be working on the units visiting patients. He said THAT working with interns, residents and clinical mission integration specialists at the faith-based hospital helps him to see the mission field at home.
“As a CPE instructor, you become the subject matter and look inside yourself,” he said. “It is healing, and it helps me to integrate the head and the heart.”
Atuahene-Nsowaah has always considered himself a teacher, but his calling to ministry work wasn’t immediately obvious. He said they were more like “nudges.” In the late 1960s, the Seventh-day Adventist Church hosted a three-week evangelistic mission in his hometown, and Atuahene-Nsowaah attended for the entire three weeks. He said that was what first warmed his heart to ministry.
Another nudge came when he was studying in Virginia in the 1990s. Atuahene-Nsowaah was adjunct teaching and completing a program in biblical studies and Christian education when a CPE student from Ghana spoke to him about chaplaincy. Seeing and hearing about the experiences of the CPE students led to his decision to not only train as a chaplain, but to teach as a chaplain.
Since then, Atuahene-Nsowaah has worked in various hospitals, enjoying the small-group learning process with students. “When I share, I receive more understanding. Chaplain education is my mission,” he said.
If you are interested in discovering the calling God has for your life, Atuahene-Nsowaah shared the following advice. First, pray that you will be in the will of God. Next, listen to His voice. Then, pay attention to your gifts. Look for what gives you a sense of inner peace and joy. Finally, be open, and come as you are.
By Ingrid Hernandez, AdventHealth Stakeholder Communications