16 May
16May

Darlene Van Dyke

Christian Music Recording Artist and Founder of Redemption Cove

Darlene's testimony was shared on the VictoryEmbraced: Truth, Talk & Testimonies YouTube channel. Please consider liking, sharing, and subscribing. Thank you!  


“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7 NIV)

The Lord is your protector; The Lord is your shade on your right hand. The sun will not beat down on you by day, Nor the moon by night. The Lord will protect you from all evil; He will keep your soul. The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in From this time and forever. (Psalm 121:5-8 NASB)     

“we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing;  persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. (2 Corinthians 4:8-10 NASB)


These are the questions that I asked Darlene during her interview on the VictoryEmbraced: Truth, Talk & Testimonies YouTube channel, and what she shared.  


Darlene, can you explain how you use your property in Southampton, Pennsylvania, for a ministry called Redemption Cove? 

Well, we have always dedicated the property of Cherry Lane to the Lord. I had the privilege of stewarding this place for about 28 years, and the initial ministry that started there was an annual caroling party—we would go into the streets at Christmas time and sing about the birth of Christ. I had done that as a small child with my parents in a small town in Ohio called Steubenville, and it just rested in my heart all of my childhood and into my adult life, and then when I had my first child, I wanted her to have those memories, but we live in Pennsylvania in a suburb of Philadelphia. I didn’t know of anybody who was going caroling, so we thought we would just go ourselves, and that small little desire in my heart grew into 25 years of an annual caroling event there at the property and the streets, and we shared about the birth of Christ. It’s interesting because of the neighbors’ reactions—we received wonderful reactions and some not-so-good or sad reactions...or unfortunate reactions. I say unfortunate or sad because I believe people who don’t know Jesus are missing out on a lot. So, we began using the property at Cherry Lane in Southampton, Pennsylvania, and then all kinds of ministries emerged from that place because we have always dedicated it to the Lord. There was a time when my stepson, whom I consider my son, and I had this vision of taking this little plot of land and turning it into an outdoor worship venue, so in three days, the Lord facilitated all the resources. Ryan and I built that space using mostly discarded items, and I prayed and said, Lord, what do you want to call this place? The name Redemption Cove came to mind because we have experienced redemption, being discarded, hurt, and being abused many times. The Lord is a Savior—He saves us. So many things in Redemption Cove were “trash finds,” if you will, and they all had a significant spiritual attachment, like when Ryan and I were building the wall out of old barn wood pieces from a friend’s historic farmhouse that her husband was discarding—I said, oh, I think I can use those.” Ryan was building the walls, and we came to a spot where I said to him that it would be so cool to have a door right here, and he agreed. I went to pick my daughter up from school that day, and wouldn’t you know, there was something in the trash. It’s just interesting because everything that happened was in the Lord’s timing. There’s granite flooring there that was donated, and there’s an old metal globe from the ‘70s that was placed in there, as you know, for God so loved the world—there’s a clock hanging, and everything there was significantly placed. As you know, time is short—Jesus is coming—we need to be redeemed, so this was the thought behind Redemption Cove. 


Can you share what happened in May 2023 on the Pennsylvania Turnpike I-95?

I moved to Pennsylvania when I was 20 years old, and for about 40 years I have driven back and forth from Ohio, where my parents live, to Philadelphia and never had an issue, even in all kinds of weather—rain, sleet, snowstorms. Last May, around 11 a.m., it was a beautiful sunny morning. I set my cruise control at 65; the speed limit was 70. I just wanted to enjoy my trip and listen to music, and suddenly, I heard a loud explosion sound in the rear of the SUV. I thought that maybe a tire blew out, and then instantly, I couldn’t see anything in my rearview mirror. I didn’t know what happened or why my vehicle was being catapulted–It felt like a huge hand was pushing me violently with great strength to the cement median. Then, I remember feeling my vehicle begin to lift and begin turning over, and as I saw the median, I said to Jesus, I wonder if I’m going to die. And immediately after I said that everything went blank. I don’t remember the impact—I don’t remember anything. The next event that I have in my memory is that I heard voices murmuring, and I heard things before I could see them because I was coming out of an unconscious state. I then opened my eyes, and I couldn’t quite figure out where I was. I kept looking and looking, and I saw glass and things that looked familiar, but yet they didn’t, and I came to realize I was hanging upside down from my seat belt. I didn’t recognize things because they were upside down. I then thought–Wow, the seatbelt is holding me, and then I prayed and said, Lord, please let the seatbelt unclick. I think I need to get out of here. Please don’t let me be stuck in here. I checked my arms to see if they were okay because I thought I could crawl out. I opened my eyes and saw that the window on the driver’s side was shattered, but all the metal was bent down and smashed, so I realized there was no way I could get out that way. But the passenger’s side was completely missing, and there was a big opening. I thought I could climb over there, so I didn’t know what had happened. I didn’t realize that a vehicle had struck me. I wondered if the car was on fire or if it was going to explode. My first feeling was that I needed to get out of here. Then I looked around, and I thought, well, I’m just going to crawl out, and I heard a voice say, Are you okay? And this murmuring turned into a man’s voice, and I saw him tuck his head down and look into the vehicle, and I said, well, I’m conscience, and I unclicked the seat belt, and I just crawled onto the glass and the debris, and I began to army crawl, and then I realized I had no strength in my body, and I and I couldn’t crawl. I was just weak and limp, and he said, Can I help you? And I stretched my hand as far as I could to the window, and I said, Would you please pull me out? He took his hand, and he did one jerk and got me at least out of the vehicle. I rolled over on my back on the turnpike, and I could see now that the vehicle was upside down and totaled, and a woman appeared next to him—again, I’m still not sure what happened—and she asked, Can I help you? I’m a nurse, and I said to her, Would you find my cell phone, please? and she found my phone underneath the tire of another vehicle that was behind my vehicle, and I was thinking, maybe he stopped to help me, and here it was the gentleman who had hit me. The lady found my cell phone under the tire of his car. The ambulance came, the policeman, and all details of just normal rescue behavior. Interestingly enough, the EMT assistant was female, and she said, Honey, I’m really sorry, but I’m going to have to cut off your clothes. I think she said that because I was wearing my favorite comfy outfit. She put the neck brace on me, and she cut off my clothes, apologizing, and then in the ambulance, I said, look, I need to make a couple of phone calls. I was headed to an appointment for two different meetings, and she said, Well, I think your ankle is broken. She said I can give you something for that, and I said, if you give me something, I won’t be able to talk to you, and she said, So, she said, I think you probably are going to need something, especially when you get to the trauma unit, so she gave me something for pain, and I’m so grateful that she did because once I reached the trauma unit, they did all kinds of testing. 

You know, I don’t know how many doctors came and pressed on my body in certain places, and I couldn’t open my eyes. I don’t know why that was. I just had no strength, I had no energy, and it was almost as if I wasn’t even in my body I couldn’t move, but I could hear and they would tell me what they were going to do to me to check me and I a woman’s voice to my left but she was different she was not talking like a doctor and I forced my eyes to peep open a little bit and it was an African-American woman and she had a blue uniform on and I thought she was a nurse and so I said to her where am I? And she said, Holy Spirit Hospital and I said, oh well that’s a good place to be because He’s here and she replied–YES, HE IS and immediately I got a good response now in the world normally when I talk to people or strangers sometimes our conversation will I’ll say something about the Lord or God or I’ll make a comment as if everybody knows him and those who are usually pick up on that and we have a great conversation so when I said He is here and she said, YES, HE IS–and immediately in my spirit there was a quickening and an aliveness came inside like I was jumping inside but my body couldn’t move and she started to pray and quote scripture–all things work together for good to those who love God and I started quoting scripture and she started saying it with me and she and I together were quoting the scriptures that I would start and then she would continue with it with me and then I’m telling you there was such power in that and we were in the presence of Jesus because He is the Word and if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven–that’s His promise so they took me to do a CT scan they brought me back there was all kinds of scurrying activity and somehow I remember that this woman and I were alone again and she was on my right side now and she said, I’m going to tell you something she said, God’s not done with you yet now she has no idea who I am at least I don’t think she does if you would feel human you know an angel I don’t know he said I’m going to tell you something she said, God is not done with you yet she said you are going to make it out of here she says many people don’t make it out of this unit but you’re going to make it out and started quoting Jeremiah 29:11, and I begin to say it with her, and she just spoke the Word over me, and she prayed over me again, and then I don’t really remember too much of what happened after that, and then I was in a recovered room later with a splint on my leg from my toe up to my knee because I had a mangled ankle. I was banged up from head to toe, I had to bump on my head, a torn retina, surgery on my eye, three broken bones and a torn muscle, and of course, ligaments that were sprained, cuts, and there were a lot of blood loss, I was tired and weak and woke up in recovery with a cast on my leg and people coming in to check on me and I never saw that nurse in that room again I never saw her from that last time that she prayed over me she’s not there the rest of the time. I think it’s so awesome how the Lord at that moment sent somebody to me and prayed over me in a trauma unit in a hospital way out in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania–in a place that I never imagined I would ever be, but the Lord was with me through all of that and then there are more stories beyond that once I left the hospital that is quite interesting.


May you share some of the stories you shared with me after you left the hospital?

The hospital surprised me by discharging me after I had a horrible accident, despite being nowhere near my home and my vehicle being totaled. Maybe they didn’t have room, but they arranged for me to stay at the hotel near the hospital and sent an Uber driver to bring me.

I waited in the hospital lobby in a wheelchair with a wonderful assistant. He was a former military personnel, and we talked about my son-in-law, Jared, who’s a master sergeant in the Marine Corps. We talked about the military until the Uber driver arrived since my daughter, Rikki Lyn, and her husband, Jared, were stationed in Okinawa, Japan.

When the Uber driver pulled up, you could hear him screaming and yelling in his vehicle. I’ve used Uber before and usually, they’re calm and I thought to myself–what’s up with this guy? The hospital assistant that was helping me was wondering the same thing. When he wheeled me to the car, out of the corner of my eye, I saw the license plate with a couple of letters and the numbers six, six, six–It was so funny! The hospital assistant looked inside the car as the driver continued to yell and complain to someone on the phone then, out of concern he asked… “Are you able to take her and then are you able to help her because she can’t walk?” “You’re going to have to carry her bags into the hotel and go over and above what an Uber driver would normally do.” The Uber driver looked back at me and said he would do it. I could tell that the gentleman from the hospital was very leery of putting me in the vehicle.

I got into the Uber, still looking like a mess with a pair of crutches, blood on my face, and glass in my hair. Thank goodness, I had a pair of work clothes in a bag in my SUV I could wear because, at the accident scene, my original outfit had to be cut. As I sat in the backseat with my crutches across my lap in the condition that I was in, I thought… “This guy was clearly frustrated about something and I wanted to calm him down a little because he’s driving me and I was just in a horrific accident, so I said to him… “I understand I’m not your normal Uber passenger. I was in a terrible accident today and I need to get to the hotel so I could rest. I appreciate that you’re taking me and helping me–I almost could have died today, and he responded… “I wish I could die today”. And right then and there, I thought this could not be by chance–This was a divine appointment, so I continued to say to him… “I’m sorry that you’re having a bad day, but I know someone who has a purpose and a plan for your life and He loves you”. He looked in his rearview mirror to look at me and I said… “His name is Jesus.” And he responded… “Don’t give me that religious stuff. I’ve already been through that whole thing.” And I said… “Well, that’s probably the problem. If you’ve been through “religious stuff” then you don’t know Jesus. Jesus loves you and He wants your life to be abundant and fulfilling–He loves us in whatever state we are in and he calmed down and listened to what I was sharing and here I am with glass in my hair, blood on my face, clothes that were ripped up, and crutches and telling him Jesus loves him. 

When we got to the hotel, his entire attitude had changed. He pulled up to the front, got out of his vehicle, and carried my bags in for me as I moved inch by inch like a snail toward the hotel lobby because I couldn’t walk well, I was hungry, lost blood, and should have remained in the hospital–I still don’t understand why they released me, but maybe he was the reason. I desperately needed to get to this hotel so I could rest. 

As I was in the lobby, he stood beside me, almost like a soldier or guard. He stayed with me and asked them if they could take care of me from here on out and the hotel staff promised they would. I said… “You know what, I’m going to be praying for you. I appreciate what you’ve done for me today.” As I looked at him, I noticed that even his countenance had changed. I asked what his name was and he said… “My name is Jacob.” I thanked the Lord for sending me Jacob as he walked back to his vehicle, and I can only hope and pray that Jacob knows Jesus today.

After Jacob left, I made my way up to the hotel’s check-in counter, and I told the woman, I’m the patient coming over from the hospital, and I need my room, and she said... “Okay, you’re on the third floor,” I asked her where the elevator was, and she said they didn’t have one. I told her I couldn’t walk, and I was trying to get by on the crutches, and she said… “Oh, my goodness, that’s right, we’re going to have to find a room for you on the first floor.” In the meantime, she got someone to carry my bags. This young man came over, and he was in a hurry. It was a convention weekend at the hotel. He grabbed my bags, asked what room I would be in, and started to take off. I had to tell him I couldn’t follow him at that pace. He said... “That’s all right. I’ll get your stuff in your room.” They found one empty room on the first floor, and he took off, and I started hobbling towards him. Suddenly, I felt like I was going to pass out, so I made my way to the wall in the lobby, and sat down on the floor, leaning against the wall with my crutches across my lap, glass in my hair, blood on my face, and my cut-off pants. I’m leaning against the wall, and I’m weak, tired, and hungry, and I cannot help myself. 

Now, that is an unusual place for Darlene Van Dyke to be because I’ve never been helpless like this before, and here I am in a strange town in the middle of the state. I leaned against the wall, waiting for the Lord’s next move. And I said… “Lord, I can’t do any more than what I’m doing.” Just then, a man wearing a lanyard walked up to me, looked at me for a split second, and asked if I was okay. I told him I wasn’t and was in a car accident. He continued by saying… “Well, I hope you’ll be okay,” and he went into his room and shut the door. Right then and there, the Lord reminded me of the story of the Good Samaritan. How many times do we come across people that need help and we pass them by? Sadly, our world has desensitized care and compassion. Scripture says in the last days that evil will get worse and worse and that men’s hearts will grow cold. I had an up close and personal experience about the coldness of our hearts–a coldness towards those who need care. I believe that all those times we turn away from helping somebody; it’s creating a barrier between us and what God has designed us to do. It’s a daily thing. So many people say that they wish they could have a ministry. We do—all of us are ministers in the Kingdom. It’s the ministry of compassion and care. For anyone that has a need that and we walk away, the Bible says it’s a sin—to know to do good and to do it not to Him is sin. We all have a ministry—a ministry of compassion and care.

When the man who had my bags returned, he noticed me sitting on the floor, so he went to find a wheelchair. Next, I instructed him how to assist me into the wheelchair, and he then pushed me into my room. He permitted me to keep the wheelchair so that I could move around. Before he left, I told him how much I appreciated his help, and I asked him his name, and he told me it was Isaac. Jacob and Isaac were there, assisting me that day.

Finally, I’m in the room and can breathe a sigh of relief. I rolled to the bed using my wheelchair. Thankfully, my arms weren’t broken. I had cuts on my arms and fingers, but I could get to the side of the bed so I could lie down. I got in an upright position and laid on the mattress, and here the bed was broken—probably the reason it was the only open double-bed room on the first floor. The mattress slid off the base, and I slid down to the middle aisle of the floor between the two beds. I thought it was too funny, and there had to be a hidden camera somewhere. I somehow stopped myself from sliding off the mattress, and I made my way back to the wheelchair, wheeled myself to the other bed, and said... “Lord, let this one be okay.” I laid across it, and it was okay, so I was finally in a position where I could rest. There I was, with the Lord being my keeper.

In the King James version, Psalm 121 says that the Lord is my keeper. I used to be a soccer coach at my home church for a few years, and I'm familiar with the word keeper in an athletic sense. Well, what does a keeper do for a soccer team? He’s the goalie, and the keeper’s job is to stop the opponent from scoring. The Lord is our keeper—He protects us from the enemy, Satan, scoring in our lives and preventing us from getting ahead of where we should be. If we allow Jesus to be our keeper to stop the enemy assaults, attacks, and fiery darts from scoringHe is our keeper, and on this particular day through the horrific events, He was my keeper. He sent me everything I needed when I needed it so perfectly. Now, I’m still injured, in pain, and suffering, but the story’s not over yet because I need to get home. 

I want to touch on something for those who may watch this broadcast and perhaps have not been so fortunate and maybe lost a loved one in an accident or maybe have lost anybody for any reason and are still suffering or you’re still in pain. What do we do with that? Where is this keeper? For example, Pastor Rick Warren had a son commit suicide; Steven Curtis Chapman’s older son ran over their little daughter in the driveway, and she did not survive; a very dear pastor friend of mine, Evangelist Ricky Riggs, was a guest evangelist at a church and backed out of a parking lot in the same way; and Toby Mac lost his eldest son to addiction. 

There are many tragedies, and unfortunately, those who don’t have a full understanding of how much God loves us—the puzzle doesn’t fit—the pieces don’t fit. How can God be a keeper and yet we suffer? Scripture says the earth is a cursed place from the fall of man in the garden, and we’re living in that—it’s not heaven, and we’re only passing through. It will not be perfect all of the time. There’s going to be pain and suffering. Jesus even had pain and suffering. God promises we will never be alone—we will never have to go through things alone. We’re not abandoned by our Creator, who loves us, and despite the enemies’ assaults, the Lord still initiates the plan that He has for our lives if we align our will with His so it can happen. 

A personal example is my mother, who was a Christian since she was a teenager. She loved Jesus. When she was in her seventies, she was diagnosed with breast cancer, and I happened to be with her the day that the diagnosis was given, which again was a miracle because I lived 360 miles away from her, and I happened to be visiting on the day she had a doctor appointment for a follow-up to a mammogram. I was able to be there for her, hug her, and tell her it was going to be okay. The Lord always works out what we need at the very moment we need it—you can’t plan this stuff, but God does. The Lord sees the end from the beginning and knows the complete picture. Jesus knows where we are and what we need.

Where are you in your healing process from the accident? 

The physical healing is still happening for me, and the Lord is also healing other things. Five specialists have worked on me, and I have had therapists. One therapist that was working on my ankle was a Christian. We got to talk about the Lord and shared scriptures while other therapists were around listening. Many people don’t tune into anything Christian until they overhear a conversation about the Lord, and at that point, they can respond towards the Lord or continue to stay how they are, but He’s always faithful.

He sets at liberty them that are bruised from Luke 4:18. We are the walking wounded. He gives us a way to live in freedom, even though we have a wound. We can still walk in our purpose and abundance, knowing that the Lord loves us and He's with us.


Redemption Cove in Southampton, Pennsylvania

Photos of Darlene's Car from the Accident on the  Pennsylvania Turnpike/Interstate 95

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