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Home Away From Home


Hello, my name is Tyler, and I am graduating this year. As I think about the past 5 years I have been at college, I wonder about what I am going to miss the most from my time here. Was it the classes, the teachers, the students, or the community as a whole? I believe it is the community. I enjoyed the community the most at Baptist Campus Ministry.

When I came to NIU it felt like that piece of home was missing. The church is a big part of my life, and it felt like it was missing when I came to Northern Illinois University. I finally found a church home away from home.

My friend, Yvonne invited a couple of mutual friends and me to game night. The event was not in a building that looks at all like a church. It didn't feel like a church; it felt like a home. The building had such an inviting spirit. At game night I got to meet amazing people in the NIU community every week.

Over time, I integrated myself to become a core part of the BCM community. It started with me only coming to the game nights. I was testing the waters. It seemed like a church, but it wasn't. I wanted to make sure that this is a place not only where I could have fun, but find a place to reconnect with my faith and Jesus. By the time I graduated I had become the vice president and treasurer of the student board.

Eventually, I became good friends with Pastor Walt. He is super intelligent, kind, and approachable individual. He had so much life experience and taught me so much. He had a unique sense of humor that matched well with the humor of us college students. He was one of the people that I looked forward to talking about God with and having a good conversation.

When he said, he was going to step down and let someone else become the pastor I was sad. It felt like part of the community was leaving. I thought the person coming to be the new pastor has some big shoes to fill and fill them he did. Meeting Zach was like a game changer for me. He got me to think differently in my faith. Zach really knew what he was talking about. He is super enthusiastic to tell us the good news. He's also into comic books, so before and after service we would have fun and interesting conversations about Marvel characters. He is an inquisitive person. Along with his super friendly and welcoming nature, my church home away home still feels like a home.

It is going to feel weird not going to BCM to help with something, getting ready for game night, or waking up late on a Sunday morning to have dinner church. I am going to miss NIU but not as much as I am going to miss being a part of BCM. I can say with confidence that I am a better person and better Christian thanks to the love and support I received at Baptist Campus Ministry.

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