Campus Life comes to Valparaiso
By Ellen Cooper
Where do you find in-sane games, embarrassing contests, heart-to-heart conversations and the Word of God? You find all of these things
and much more at Campus Life.
Campus Life is run by Youth for Christ, an organization that seeks to lead non-believers to have a relationship with Jesus Christ. Youth for Christ has been a staple of the Northwest Indiana community for over 20 years, but Valparaiso has never had a lasting Campus Life program. That’s where Katie Barnes comes in.
Barnes, who grew up going to Campus Life in Portage, was greatly influenced by her experiences there. “It (Campus Life) impacted me significantly,” says Barnes, “because I had a director who cared deeply for me, challenged me to live for Christ and encouraged me when I needed help.”
After graduating from Taylor University, Barnes moved back home to Valparaiso where she noticed the need for Campus Life. There was an existing middle school Campus Life, but Barnes thought that Valparaiso high schoolers could also benefit from Campus Life.
Barnes, along with other Christians in the area, started discussing the possibility of starting a long-lasting Campus Life in Valparaiso. Barnes’s goal for Valparaiso Campus Life is to “help move students closer to Christ and get them connected to a local church.”
Soon after Barnes moved home, she planned an event to encourage local teenagers to attend Valparaiso Campus Life. On Feb. 10, 2012, the kick-off of Campus Life took place at BridgePoint Church. The dance consisted of fun activities such as a photo-op area, basketball, raffles, contests and of course, dancing. With approximately 50 teenagers in attendance, Barnes considered Campus Life’s first event to be a huge success.
Campus Life will officially start on Monday nights this fall. However, Barnes hopes to host another Campus Life event for high schoolers in the early summer of 2012.