Nick’s Story

Nick VanderPloeg

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I have been a part of Campus Ministry for ALL 5 years of my time at Grand Valley. In this time I have loved every second I have been able to be a part of what God is doing on Campus, but I never truly understood what this community meant to me until these past two weeks.

Over the past year my family walked through the very difficult journey of watching a loved one get diagnosed and eventually have their life taken by cancer. Two weeks ago I was informed that my aunt had been admitted to the hospital and would need to receive surgery to drain her lung that had been filled with fluid as result of the chemo she had been receiving. While they were performing the surgery they found a large mass in her lung. While they did remove it they said that the mass would eventually grow back, leaving my aunt with, what we thought, was going to be a few good months of life. Over the course of the next week her lungs re-filled with fluid and surgery once again, became necessary. When the doctors went to perform the surgery they found that not only did the mass grow back, but the cancer had spread so much that it had ate a whole in her esophagus. Well my aunt survived the surgery she passed away two days later on September 16 at 4AM. Needless to say this news was shocking and devastating. Eventually word got around about the loss my family had experienced.

During this time I don’t think that I ever felt more love then I did from those around me in the Campus Ministry community. Over the next few days I would be flooded with texts, emails, etc. containing prayers, condolences, and other well wishes from forming life group friends, spring break, friends, as well as other people I have made friends with through Campus Ministry. It was at this point that I truly realized how influential the Campus Ministry community that God has placed in my life, has been to me.

I don’t know how I would have made it through this period of time without my CM family. Thanks be to God for this blessing on my life!!!!!

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