Des reaches out a helping hand—and meets God
Des Langella, a Brisbane paralegal in her early 20’s, life—and faith—changed catching a bus to work. At the bus stop, she met Kristie, a 16 year homeless heroin addict. Des was so moved, she wanted to help … immediately.
The gift of listening
The moment the Rev David Van Akker stepped into Sylvia’s yard, he became the gardener. As he pruned the rose bushes, he chatted to Sylvia, he even reminded her to take her medication. The reverend-cum-gardener, then offered to cook her dinner, she accepted.
Sylvia had dementia, and because of her condition always thought David was someone else.
In the midst of an addiction, life begins again
She was drinking a litre of vodka a day; sometimes more. Instead of sleep, her days would end by blacking out. Natalie was out of control. What’s more, her abusive behaviour was destroying her relationships and possible means of support.
‘Mum asked me if I wanted to be buried or cremated,’ Natalie said. ‘She was that convinced I was going to die.’
Hope through hardship
Eight children squashed around a small table singing happy birthday. But Katie, the now five year old, was anything but happy.
The relationship between Katie’s mum and dad was falling apart. And with so much time absorbed by fighting, it’s the kids who missed out.
Nowhere left to run
When Jamie was six years old, his father beat him so badly he ended up in hospital. What’s more, he hadn’t seen his mother for years. It gets worse. At just eight, his Aunty dumped him at the police station, "You keep him. I don’t want him," she told the police “I’m sick of him”.
Unsurprisingly, he was angry; he had never experienced love. He rarely spoke and not once, did we see him smile. Then our youth worker, Tony, taught Jamie to swim in the surf. With the waves splashing and the water too deep to stand, Jamie began to trust, and share. An amazing little boy came to the surface.