Reaching Students in Tampa

In the heart of downtown Tampa, Florida, sits Telford House, an InterVarsity witnessing community brimming with ministry opportunities. This house, along with two others nearby, provides an InterVarsity presence at three Tampa campuses–the University of South Florida, the University of Tampa, and Hillsboro Community College.

The Telford House has rooms used for housing staff and interns; the other two houses offer living space for committed InterVarsity students. In addition, the Telford House provides space where the local chapters can host leadership training events, as well as other discipleship or evangelism training. InterVarsity staff and students are always present and available.

The constant traffic of staff and students through the Telford House has created relationships between the different campuses. Students from varying college cultures participate together in Christian community. Whether for ministry events or housing, this unique opportunity would not happen in Tampa if it weren’t for InterVarsity’s Telford House.

InterVarsity students and staff who reside in the houses intentionally live communally, sharing meals, space, and time with one another. Bruce Alwood, InterVarsity’s Southeast regional director, said, “The incarnational environment that happens when students live with one another is an incredible context for building relationships that encourage lasting discipleship.”

Students today do not often respond to an argument for the validity of Christianity. It’s incarnational ministry, like at the Telford House, which provides a platform for Christian students to live out their faith as a witnessing community.

This story is an excerpt from InterVarsity’s 2007-2008 Annual Report, which is now online. Follow this link for a look at the complete online Annual Report and an overview of InterVarsity’s national ministry activities.