God Leads Teacher to Inner City Neighbourhood

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After teaching in the Dominican Republic for two years, Darcy Miedema felt a strong calling from God to work with those in need. Six years later, Miedema is employed by Visalia (Calif.) Christian Reformed Church at “Church House,” a home that ministers to children and women in a neighbourhood where drug use, gang influence, broken families, and abuse are very normal.

After her initial involvement, Miedema felt she could have a greater impact if she moved to the neighbourhood. So she moved into a small apartment where she provided food, shelter, and comfort for children and women in need, with help from her church and while still working full-time as a teacher. “I knew it was where God wanted me to be so I couldn’t be any safer, and I experienced God’s peace like never before.”

Since that decision, God has blessed Miedema’s ministry in many ways, eventually providing a house of its own through several generous donors and allowing her to move to full-time ministry. The home provides temporary housing for mothers and children and serves as a hangout for anywhere from seven to 20 kids after school each day. The ministry also holds a weekly prayer walk and women’s Bible study. Miedema herself serves as a guardian for three children.

Neighbourhood mom Crystal Martinez said, “I heard about this Church House and I was skeptical. I have eight kids and wanted a safe place for them to go in the neighborhood. Now I am a believer and go to church faithfully with my children and my kids are getting baptized.”

Liz Hernandez said, “I am a mother of two and I didn't know hardly anything about the Bible or God. I met Darcy and am going to her Bible study and now we as a family go to church every week.”

“I've learned so much about God through many of my neighbors here in the ‘hood,’” Miedema concluded. “God certainly did not need [me] to move into the neighborhood to save these people. God was already here and working in his ways and his timing, which is far better than mine.”

About the Author

Tracey Yan is the Banner's regional news correspondent for classes British Columbia North-west and British Columbia South-east.

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If it's in California, wouldn't it be a neighborhood and not a neighbourhood?

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