Inner City Youth Alive (ICYA) has hired its fifth community minister and she is excited to begin this new season.
Melvina Guiboche grew up in Winnipeg's inner city. "I grew up here in Winnipeg. ... I grew up in West Broadway with a lot of connections to the North End, " says Guiboche.
This homegrown experience, in addition to her time as an associate pastor of a fellowship in Winnipeg, sets up Guiboche to be uniquely fit for her new role as an ICYA community minister.
Guiboche says, "I ended up here by the grace of God. Monday was my first day and I was driving here and all I could say was, 'Thank you, Lord'. It's by the grace of God that I have come to this place."
For Guiboche, her role as a community minister is all about forging relationships with people in the neighbourhood. She says, "A community minister is an example of Christ and who God is to them and who they can be in the world to show His light. We reach out to the people that need a touch from God."
Guiboche says she has learned from the current community ministers: "They're servants of God and they reach out to the kingdom of God. They reach out to the people that need to know Him, that are hurting, that are isolated, that just need to know that God is real."
As she ministers to people who come into ICYA's doors and those outside in the community, Guiboche says she can relate to them: "I grew up in the systems that many people in the inner city - that is their reality and that was my reality.
"So I believe that I can connect with the struggles and the reality of what it is to depend on systems and grow up in the inner city."
"I pray. That is my weapon. I love to pray. That is where I get my strength."
Guiboche describes this new job as, "a season of change, it's a season of development. It's the season that I'm in, but I'm excited for what God is going to do through me, in me, and how He is going to reveal His glory."
It is in this season that Guiboche hopes to reach out to the women - young and old - in the community and show them Christ's love. "I'm excited to build those connections and relationships and I'm looking forward to getting out there and meeting the people of the community," says Guiboche.
"I'm new to the organization, but I see the love of God that they have for the community, they have for the children, and the kids that they develop those relationships with ... They really love them I think that is what Inner City Youth Alive is, an organization that loves their community through Christ."