Boulder Creek Neighborhood
Boulder Creek is situated on the North side of Redding, and is just 15 mins walk to Bethel. The neighborhood is colorful and an exciting place to live if you like living on the front line. Some call those that live here the “Boulder Creeker Tweakers” as numerous drug (meth and marijuana) and alcohol addicts live here, but we call them the “Boulder Creeker Seeker Leakers!” There is a mix of families, solo parents and singles living in this street. Quite a few are unemployed and on SSI (Social Security Insurance) where being physically or mentally disable, they receive government aid. Government housing (HUD) is common.
Bethel students have been pastoring this neighborhood for about 8-10 years and students first started meeting together for bible study and worship, inviting the neighbors along in 2009. It is often heard from those living here that “things have changed since Bethel started coming”. Comments like “there are now less cop cars here” and “less fighting and drugs”.
Things have changed and are developing. The atmosphere changes when we walk the streets and declare this is God’s turf. We bring heaven to this neighborhood simply by who we are and what we carry. When we moved into this cul-de-sac, taking ground with three Bethel Revival Apartments (which has now grown to four), we made a mark in the enemy camp. We enjoy feasting in the presence of our enemies.
How rough is it you may ask? The neighborhood looks a little rough around the edges with dumpster bins, some stray cats and the odd "lost looking soul" wandering around. This is especially your first impression when you drive in and are not used to it! I (Karina) lived there for three years and personally loved it. I built wonderful, long lasting relationship with the neighbors, who many of which enjoyed the community feel there, and all knew each other like family.
Living in this neighborhood isn't for everyone. Some may feel unsafe and vulnerable in a neighborhood like this, especially if you are more prone to feel things in the atmosphere. From my point of view, it was nice to take some breaks from the atmosphere at the prayer chapel and to leave for the occasional weekend. I always felt covered and in the three years I lived there, the worst that happened to me was that I had my bike stolen once (which happens all over Redding). No one of course can make any guarantees but from my experience, the neighbors have respected Bethel and those that stay in these apartments.