Taking young people into their home, George and Naomi are a couple living their God shape. From George's past addictions to their love of people, they are building authentic relationships within their community.
G: Once a week on every friday, I would bring one of my boys who lives with me full time. He gets the privilege to catch up with his mum, just to do some fun stuff at the shopping mall, visit his home. Just for them to carry on building that relationship.
Royden’s mum: Before his diagnosis it was really difficult with Royden. And he went to George’s who is specialised in that type of thing. It’s been so much easier.
And I just know that he’s absolutely safe and that George and Naomi basically do the same things that I would be doing so it’s just amazing.
G: This is a young friend of mine. His name is George junior, so there’s no confusion as I’m the older guy and probably the better looking one out of the two. Na just jokes ay George! I’ve been working with him for the last three years. Just get to pick him up and take him out twice a week to get him involved in community and some independent life skills. And also we do some fun and recreational activities, like going to the gym and various young people’s activities out there in the community. One of the lowest times was when I felt like all my friends, even my friends who backstabbed me & betrayed me on the streets; all abandoned and rejected me from out of a group. I turned to substance. Sniffed all night and just wanted to end it all.
N: I was involved with the church youth group and we would do an outreach on a friday night. We would go and talk to different ones on the street and hand out little booklet things and leaflets and invite them to different church events and things like that. I had seen George uptown after my work and we were going to have a youth camp. He was standing outside one of the dairies near the church and so I said to him, are you coming to camp? He was like, I don’t have a ride. And I was like well get in but you’re not bringing your glue bag. And he’s like oh, I wanna bring it. And i’m like no. Well you can sit in the car but you’re not sniffing on the way out there. So he hopped in the car and I took some others and I came home and found out after the weekend that he’d actually given his life to the Lord that weekend. From then on it was just a massive journey and a process of God moving into every compartment in his life.
G: When I became a christian at camp, I remember the first verse I read was that when somebody becomes a christian they become a brand new person inside. Just seeing the hunger and the desire for addiction, for the solvents, just drop off. That new life, that new creation, that hope, that love that God gives, just motivated me to give out to others. Just as it poured from Naomi, from God to Naomi to me, now we’re doing it through foster care. Through whoever because of youth work and community work. We were taking young people into our homes. I love it because I feel like i’ve found my purpose in life. One of the frustrations I found as a young boy and a young man growing up in a broken family was what’s the purpose? What do I do in life? And to work in the community to provide foster care, youth mentoring, respite, supporting families; that just makes me feel fulfilled. I’m hitting the purpose and just helping people. Naomi’s mum Maureen Holdaway did foster care for 30 years when Naomi was a little girl, and Naomi’s the youngest. Mum’s gone home to be with the Lord 3 years ago and so now it seems the legacy’s passed on to my wife. She came out and witnessed to one of the bad street kids. A guy who had no father, broken family. She won me to christ, and we became husband and wife. 25 years, mum’s passed the legacy, that baton onto her daughter Naomi. Now to us and now we feel that we can pass that onto our children. That’s what legacy is to me.