By Brandon Elrod
KENNER, La.—Lexie Green was still a few months shy of her two-year anniversary as a nurse at Ochsner Medical Center in Kenner, La., just outside of New Orleans, when she found herself serving in the Intensive Care Unit in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A few weeks into the crisis, which has struck the New Orleans area particularly hard, Green started feeling poorly herself. Her supervisor sent her home when Green discovered she was running a fever. She later tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
“I think it’s the sickest I’ve ever been in my life,” Green said by phone from her rental house where she continues to recover.
Alexa “Lexie” Green became a nurse at Ochsner Medical Center in Kenner, La., the summer after graduating from the University of North Alabama in 2018. As she was working with COVID-19 patients, Green came down with the disease herself. She shared a video diary on social media as an opportunity to share the hope she receives through her relationship with Jesus Christ. As a college student, Green served on mission in New Orleans with her Baptist Collegiate Ministry group and as a GenSend missionary with the North American Mission Board.
Photo submitted by Lexie Green.
The weeks leading up to her diagnosis had been some of the most trying of her life, and to help her deal with the anxiety and stress, Green, whose full name is Alexa, began making a video diary.
“I originally made the videos to help me cope with everything,” Green said. “Every time I talked to my family, I didn’t want to burden them with the things I was seeing. So, I just started recording myself talking and praying and talking to God.”
Green had seen some of her patients die without family nearby due to the COVID-19 restrictions. Then, her first patient passed away from the coronavirus. She continued speaking into her video diary when she learned that she had contracted the disease.
In quarantine, Green found a gospel opportunity.
“When I got sick, it was the first time I had seen everything on social media,” she said. “There was so much negativity, but I wanted to share some of my story and share hope.”
She pieced together some of her videos and posted them to Facebook. The timeline covers from when she was first grappling with the trials affecting her and her coworkers to when she was first sent home with symptoms of the disease. She concluded the video with an invitation to reach out if anyone wants to learn more about the peace and hope that comes with a relationship with God.
“I have been completely overwhelmed by the response, in a good way. I never expected it to touch so many people, which I think is the Lord working,” Green said. “I’ve had several people, even people I don’t even know, message me to say that they had either been struggling in their faith or were having a very difficult time. They said the video encouraged them to seek out God and reminded them of his faithfulness and his love for them.”
Some of her coworkers have started asking her deep, theological questions as well about what God could possibly be doing in the middle of the pandemic. Green has made herself available to talk, listen and pray when her coworkers complete their shifts.
Having this sort of impact, being able to serve and help people, is precisely what Green envisioned when she selected nursing as her vocation.
“I feel like one of the gifts the Lord has given me is the gift of mercy. I have a heart for people who are suffering physically, emotionally and spiritually,” Green said. “I have always been interested in the medical field, and nursing is such a caring profession. It was an opportunity to use my gift of mercy to practically share the love of Christ.”
As a college student, Alexa “Lexie” Green served on mission in New Orleans as a GenSend missionary with the North American Mission Board. Green’s first mission trip to New Orleans was with her Baptist Collegiate Ministry group at the University of North Alabama. Now, she lives in New Orleans and serves as a nurse at a local hospital where she recently contracted COVID-19 virus while working with patients. Photo submitted by Lexie Green.
Green grew up in a rural, north Alabama town called Double Springs and went to the University of North Alabama in nearby Florence because of the school’s nursing program. Her dream job was to work at a hospital in Huntsville, Ala., but a mission trip with her Baptist Collegiate Ministry (BCM) altered that trajectory.
“It was spring break of 2017,” Green recalled. “Immediately when I got back from that trip, I thought, ‘I have to go back to New Orleans.’ If there is any way for me to go back, I am going to go.”
So, that summer she wound up on a GenSend summer mission team through the North American Mission Board (NAMB). There had been one more opening on the team going to New Orleans to spend two months living and serving in the city.
“It was one of the most life changing experiences I ever had,” Green said. “My relationship with God grew exponentially, and I got a great sense of what it’s like to live on mission.”
In March of the following year, her senior year, she was in New Orleans again with her BCM. She already had a sense that she would end up in New Orleans again, eventually, but encounters with NAMB missionaries led her to spend more time in prayer that week.
Green applied for the job at Ochsner Medical Center while there, but before hearing back from the hospital, she received an offer in Alabama from her dream job in Huntsville.
“Without knowing anything about my other job, I turned it down because I felt like I needed to be in New Orleans,” Lexie said.
Alexa “Lexie” Green became a nurse at Ochsner Medical Center in Kenner, La., the summer after graduating from the University of North Alabama in 2018. She loves her job and sees it as an opportunity to share the love of Christ. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Lexie contracted the virus and used the opportunity to share her testimony through a video diary she posted to Facebook. As a college student, Green served on mission in New Orleans with her Baptist Collegiate Ministry group and as a GenSend missionary with the North American Mission Board. Photo submitted by Lexie Green.
Now, she has seen that dream play out under extremely trying circumstances, but she says she cannot wait to get back to work.
“Knowing that somehow, in everything that’s going on, I was able to make a difference in peoples’ lives, that’s what’s drawing me back to the hospital.” Green said. “That’s what kept me going—knowing that I was able to love on and minister to people as a nurse.”
Brandon Elrod writes for the North American Mission Board.