TWU Parents open home to students
It’s 4:30 on a Sunday afternoon, and the doorbell rings again at the home of Langley residents Norm and Rhonda Tapp. In walk three TWU students, joining the 11 others already there. The group catches up with one another as they help prepare dinner—Norm’s famous chili. Finally, the table is set, a prayer is offered, and they all sit down to share a meal together.
For over five years, Norm and Rhonda—whose daughter and son, Rachel and Joel, are Trinity Western students—have been involved with TWU in a unique way: every Sunday evening throughout the school year, they open up their home and provide dinner for other students. “Our very first one was in October of 2008 when our son asked if he could bring his dorm home for turkey dinner,” said Rhonda.
“Once Rachel started at TWU, she wanted to do the same thing with her friends every week,” Norm said. “So we started doing that!”
But it doesn’t stop at just Sunday dinners—over the years, the Tapps have hosted dozens of students for dorm dates, surprise birthday parties, bonfires, and more. They’ve even provided a place to stay, or storage space for students traveling home between semesters. “We have students in and out all the time,” Rhonda said.
For the Tapps, the gathering is about more for them than just hosting their children’s friends for a meal; they know each student by name, joke around with them, and ask about their personal lives. “They’re interesting—their lives are interesting,” said Norm. “The students may be blessed by us, but they bless us so much more.”
The Tapps never thought of their hosting as a ministry—until several people pointed it out. Now, they embrace it wholeheartedly. “It’s an extension of our family,” Rhonda said. “I can pretty much say that if these young people have come through our doors, they’ve been prayed for at some point.”
Based on their own tremendous experience, the Tapps encourage other TWU parents to join in and host students in their homes, too—even a one-time event can make a big impact.
Hear more about why the Tapp family does what they do in this video.