Reframing Community

An Interview with Ashlyn Benson, a junior in Construction Engineering & Management

Q. What is your Campus House story?

A. I began coming to Campus House at the beginning of my freshman year and was very lucky to have found a community as inviting as this one. I found that Campus House was a place that I simultaneously felt so completely at home and yet so challenged. I’m so thankful to have had so many people walk alongside me through acclimating to college, being obedient to the Lord’s invitations, difficult family circumstances, and so many other aspects of life as a believer here on Purdue’s campus.

Q. Can you describe how God has been at work in you in light of the unique challenges this year presents? What is He revealing to you? How is He aligning your heart with His?

A. A common theme so far this year for me has been intentionality. Without being able to meet with others in large groups for events, community this year requires me to make my invitations personal and specific. The times spent with others so far this semester have been sweet and much more creative than usual. I have seen some inherently good things taken away, personally and in the lives of so many others around me. Instead of feeling robbed of those experiences, my expectations were completely eliminated, which has allowed Him to reframe my mindset.

Q. What are your prayers for Purdue this year?

A. My prayer for Purdue this year is for us to walk alongside one another in what we are each already doing. Sometimes catching up with a friend happens as you walk through the aisles of the grocery store, but as we invite one another into our rhythms, we can spend time doing life together as opposed to filling each other in on what we are doing. I pray that as we social distance from one another we can still feel seen and loved by those around us, as the stresses of online class compound we can still feel engaged in community, and as we think of the future we can be present this year and choose not to discount it as lost time.

Q. From your perspective (and in light of those prayers), what do you believe is the collective calling of Campus House in this season?

A. I feel like Campus House is being called to reach others personally. By walking in obedience, we have the chance to build relationships with other students on campus when, to some, community feels impossible due to these circumstances.