Campus Ministries is one of my favorite places on Hope’s campus.  It perches on a hill near the edge of the Pine Grove.  In just the past year, it has held memories of early morning study sessions, nights reading by the fire, and days on the porch playing card games with friends.  Memories of meeting with chaplains, worshiping on the hill, and Bible Studies.  Campus Ministries has brought me the community I always hoped for, but never thought possible.

worshipping on the hill with friends: spring semester 2023

Coming to Hope, I didn’t know much about faith life on campus.  I wanted to join a local church and a Bible Study, but I wasn’t aware of what Campus Ministries offered or if it would be something a lot of people participated in. A friend and I decided to go to the very first Sunday night Gathering service together, and everything changed. 

Every part of the Gathering captivated me: the student-led worship, the chaplains available to pray with us, and everyone who had given up their Sunday nights to pursue God.  In a season where everything felt unfamiliar, this was safe.

At the close of the service, we joined hands across every aisle.  I blinked away tears as we sang the Doxology.

praise God from whom all blessings flow

praise God all creatures here below

This was a pivotal moment in my transition to Hope.  It reminded me that I was not alone.  God was with me, and I was hand-in-hand with a community He’d called me into for such a time as this.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us

Hebrews 12:1

Campus Ministries has provided me with an immediate cloud of witnesses to pursue the Lord with; people who encourage me and run with me. Along with corporate worship, they also organize Bible Studies and Immersion Trips.  I’ve been blessed by my participation in all of these things.

As I write this, I’m sitting downstairs in the Campus Ministries building. It’s a study space, a meeting place, and where the chaplains have their offices.  There is always complementary coffee here, always a chaplain greeting you, and likely a friend or two to catch up with.  I find myself here for at least some time every single day.

There is simply no place I’d rather be than surrounded by this great cloud of witnesses here at Hope.  Whether we’re studying in the building together, worshiping on the hill, or singing the Doxology hand-in-hand… the Lord has used Campus Ministries to change my life and show me that I am never alone.

Published by Audrey Wells

Class of 2026 Hometown: Portage, MI Majors: Communications & Spanish Minor: Social Witness Ministry & Global Health

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