Anna TenPas, the newest member of our staff, takes the long look back at how she became involved with Campus Life. My parents, Dan and Sara TenPas, both began attending Campus Life in 1989 during their freshman year high school. Back then, under the leadership of Dave Justice, Campus Life held weekly Bible studies at a volunteer’s house for students in each school in the Sheboygan County area. In addition to the Bible studies, every other Saturday there would be a special night held at the Campus Life Teen Center with snacks, games, teaching, and singing. Afterwards, students would usually go to Hardee’s or Pizza Hut to hang out with one another. My mom was drawn to Campus Life because of the Christian teaching offered and the godly friendships she was able to make. My dad was thankful to get out of the house and be with friends who were a good influence on him.
However, in 1991, their reasons for coming to Campus Life were about to grow exponentially. On a Campus Life mission trip to Tennessee, my parents met for the first time. Up until this trip, neither my mom or dad really knew each other because different schools went to different houses, so they weren’t usually together. On this mission trip, my parents both volunteered for a kids camp. While on break, my dad made a teenager’s overture for my mom’s attention by tossing pebbles at her. Like a pebble tossed into the water, the ripple effect of that introduction grew as my parents got to know each other. They took their time, and a year later they began dating–with help from Campus Life, of course! Campus Life volunteers Kevin and Jackie Kalkofen and Dave and Melody Ambrose guided my parents through their dating experience, giving them an example of a godly marriage, as well as advice and wisdom. They got engaged on July 31, 1993, and continued to volunteer in missions, going with Campus Life to Ecuador, working with a Mission Aviation Fellowship Hangar. A year later, my mom and dad got married on June 18, 1994. They continued serving in Campus Life as a couple, volunteering in the high school programs for about 3 years before my oldest brother was born. Twenty-six years later, they are happily married with three kids, even though my dad still throws pebbles at my mom.
When I think about their story, I see how God used Campus Life not only to bring my parents together, but also to guide me and my siblings. We have all attended and volunteered at Campus Life throughout our middle school and high school years, and it has changed our lives. Campus Life has been an integral part of my family. We’ve learned more about God here and have been challenged to take obedient steps in faith.