I became a Christian in 1994. I lived a few doors down from The Salvation Army. I was the drunk person who gave them a hard time when they had services on their property before the hall was built. Now I’m their treasurer.
I was well known to the women’s refuges. Emotional abuse took me there with my kids. Now I help people who are going through emotional abuse.
One day I got out of the refuge and went straight to the Mongrel Mob pad. I drank from 11 that morning until seven that night. Then I found myself following what was like a wall of light. It took me straight across the road to The Salvation Army. I remember going inside, sitting down in the dark hall and crying. I had a feeling God had done something in me and that it wasn’t just a dream. When I got home, my husband told me I looked sober.
I had been visited by the Jehovah’s Witnesses (JWs). They gave me lots of books but no answers to the questions I was asking.
I kept on looking at the Salvation Army church. One day I saw this guy, Wayne Moses, mowing the lawn in gumboots and a singlet. I was so surprised when he said kia ora and told me he was the minister. Then he just listened to me. I found myself walking up my driveway in another daze.
My next talk was with Wayne’s wife, Harriet, and she gave me a Bible. It looked so simple, not colourful like the JW books. I read ‘The Parable of the Sower’ and it answered all my questions. The part about seed going deep into the good soil … I thought, ‘So I can be good!’ And that was my start.
The Mob used to pay me to store their stolen goods, but after talking to Wayne and Harriet I didn’t want their stuff at my house anymore. I had the Mob take it all out. They weren’t happy, but I thought, ‘That’s one good thing.’
A friend took all the JW books away and I was left with the Bible. I just read and read. Matthew 11:28, where Jesus promises his rest, really spoke to me. I thought, ‘I’m going to have that rest!’, because I was so tired of it all, the abuse and the drinking.
I found I could say ‘no’ to my husband when he got angry, because I hadn’t said anything before. We hadn’t talked—I was so fearful before. My husband didn’t have a good childhood. I had parents who tucked me up in bed at night with a kiss, but he didn’t. I see the pain that he has and so I pray and hope for the Lord’s timing in my husband’s life.
I thank God for changing me—no more alcohol, no more refuge! My faith has made me stronger for life.
For more information regarding how we might help you, please contact:
The Inn: (04) 384 6759
Sanctuary House: (04) 383 6014
Email: The Inn / Sanctuary House
My kids were angry - I needed someone
Jono talks about Salvation Army youth programmes