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British Columbia Church Tithes to Youth Project


Mission Hills Community Christian Reformed Church in the town of Mission, B.C., is so grateful for where God has brought it that it has decided to give a portion of its building campaign to a community project for at-risk youth.

A series of small miracles unfolded to shape the church’s approach. It began with church member Gary Unger reading an article in the Banner in early 2013 about Trinity CRC in Goderich, Ont., which tithed from its building project to support a church in Haiti. A family connection to Trinity CRC provided the details of how the campaign was organized.

“Mission Hills CRC began as a [Christian Reformed] Home Missions church plant about 17 years ago. But the last two years have brought significant growth in the church membership, so we felt it was time to have our own building,” explained Roger Hoekstra, president of the church’s council.

“We also wanted a chance to serve . . . in the community, and then God put the Mission Youth House right in our laps,” Unger added.

Mission Youth House will serve as a resource for young people ages 14 to 25, providing mentorship for job interviews, cooking, parenting, and other skills the youth need to gain independence in difficult circumstances. “We are the family of God, but we realize not all young people have families to rely on, so we can step into that role in some way,” explained Unger. The house will be run by a separate nonprofit society in connection with local governments and Youth Unlimited. Local businesses and other community organizations have also come alongside the project as sponsors.

The project involved renovating an old house; about 30 church members have been busy installing the kitchen, painting, and doing electrical work.

“God has blessed us as a church, and we want to show our gratitude by sharing with others as well,” Hoekstra said.

The church has posted a video about its story and building campaign on its website.

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