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Denver ministry helps women from all walks of life

Tammy Hinson knew four years ago she needed more than family to get her through what became the battle of her life.
Diagnosed with breast cancer, Hinson said it was a time in her life when she needed more than family to listen.
“I needed a woman’s opinion,” said Hinson from her job at Scratch Pizza. “I needed somewhere to go.”
The place she turned to in June 2003 was “Finding Peace in the Midst of the Storm,” a women-only support group through Westport Baptist Church, N.C. 16, Denver.
Hinson said she discovered the group through the church’s vacation bible school.
“That’s where I met Susan Hearld, the ministry’s founder,” said Hinson. “She pitched the idea of the group.”
She went to the group meeting the next week and has been attending since.
“Most of the women are having hard times,” said Hinson. “They are mainly having domestic problems at home.”
Hinson – age 42 at the time – was having problems with her diagnosis and subsequent treatment.
“I felt bad because some women went through abuse or divorce,” said Hinson. “I’ve been married 27 years to a man who’s not been physically or mentally abusive. Here I am, just with cancer.”
Now out of chemotherapy, Hinson said she has a checkup in the near future to see if the cancer is in remission.
According to group founder Sue Hearld, the group’s first meeting of this year was May 25.
“The ministry is strictly for women, to address stress and difficulties in their lives,” said Hearld.
When the group started in the beginning, there were two 12-week meetings per year.
Now, the group meets for one 12-week session.
“After the 12 meetings, then the group becomes a support group,” said Hearld, adding attendance in the support group is 15 – 20 women.
Hearld said she has had difficulties in life.
“I had a bad relationship that lasted for 15 years,” said Hearld. “When I turned to God, life became totally different.”
Hearld authored the lessons for the group meetings herself, calling the lessons “a different approach to life.”
She’s also planning to write a book titled “Finding Peace in the Midst of the Storm.”
Hearld said while women come from all different backgrounds, one thing remains the same.
“Everything is based on relationship,” she said. “The ministry covers everything from what constitutes a difficult or bad relationship to how to establish relationships with God and what the Bible teaches about separation and divorce.”
Hearld added the program also helps the participants to understand God’s purpose for their lives.
She estimated up to 60 women have taken the 12-week course.
According to Tammy Hinson, she and Hearld are prayer partners.
“When I started telling my story at the first meeting, other women started crying,” said Hinson. “They told me it was nice to hear problems other than relating to family.”
The most important aspect of the group is confidentially.
“What goes on and what’s said in the group stays in the group,” said Hinson. “The group helps to manage life and improve self-esteem.”
After being in the group for three years, Hinson decided to apply for a job at Scratch Pizza on N.C. 16 in Denver.
“Nobody else would give me a chance because of cancer,” said Hinson. “Randy, however, gave me a chance.”
Owner Randy White said he’s seen changes in Hinson over the last six months she’s worked for him.
“Her confidence level has increased more and more since she came here,” said White. “I admire her for the fact that she’s punctual and keeps her responsibilities covered in the face of battling cancer.”

For more information on Finding Peace in the Midst of the Storm, call (704) 483-5851.
by Jon Mayhew

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