Freedom from drugs & mended family relationships!

At a young age, my mum was domineering and vindictive if she didn’t get her own way, she was constantly critical of my dad and wanted to rule the house with an iron fist. I grew up despising dad for being weak, and resented her so much because she picked serving herself above the needs of the family (emotionally). Things got a lot worse as I got older. I stopped speaking to both of my parents for about 12 years. They’d come to visit me to try and talk with me and I’d say hello and then that was it. I avoided them and I think I smoked marijuana to rebel against them and make them angry. I was full of anger and hate. I grew up violent.

A few months ago, we were studying a topic on forgiveness in the school, I kept feeling like I needed to forgive my mum and to show her love… I realised that to love others is to love God. I knew I needed to get rid of all the bitterness and hate in my heart. I decided to go visit mum – because she needs to forgive some of our family members, and because I knew I needed to forgive her. I went up to my mum and told her I loved her and gave her a big hug. It was the first time in my life that I’d told her I loved her, and I could see in her eyes how touched she was. My dad started crying, and my mum promised she’d forgive the other family members. We all ended up crying together. I felt SO relieved when I left and so full of peace!

I’ve learnt a lot since coming to the life-skills classes each week… I’ve gotten so much help, from God and from the Life-Gate family and now I love to serve as part of the Life-Gate team. I love to see the smiles on the faces of those we’re helping, when they realise they’re important to us and that we enjoy their company. I love being able to show love to those we reach out to through the Outreach team.

G. Ferrante

Single Mum

I think it was probably 2015 when I first came to Life-Gate… My mum started coming first – she had bad depression so she came for some counselling and then started going to the school. She brought me along to the school too ‘cause she knew I needed help. My marriage was on the rocks, so I started coming to see Angel who did a few counselling sessions with my husband and I. Fast forward a year or so, and we had separated.

I was in a very dark place, so I started coming every week to the school and also came for regular counselling …coming every week kept me in the right head space… It kept me positive and gave me the will to keep fighting during the split, the court case, and for my kids.

Angel had a massive impact on me during my court case, to the point where people didn’t even realise what I was going through – they never knew until it was all over. I received a LOT of support. Angel also provided representation during the court case, letters and phone calls on my behalf. The counselling was very helpful and beneficial – there was a lot of practical stuff I got out of those sessions. It was a very safe environment and very useful for my life.

When the court case had ended, I had nothing and I needed a place to live. My ex-husband left me with absolutely nothing and I had two young kids to support. I had no furniture – not even a spoon or a fork to my name – I had absolutely zero. Life-Gate gave me financial assistance through the Magistrates Court funding. They helped me with my first month’s rent, helped cover the cost of moving into the house, enabled me to buy all the basic household items we needed just to live, gave us hampers and food to take the pressure off. They did so much for us!

I still struggle. I have my days, but every time I come, being there gives me that sense of hope and that sense of “Yep, you can do this!” …they give me the boost to keep getting my stuff [life] together.

Angel, Lauren and the volunteers have a real community heart and they reach out to the most broken and needy, taking those people under their wing and counselling them and being like a life-coach to them. Everyone [the Life-Gate team] is there because they want to be – it’s all from the heart. It’s not forced and it’s not religious… They make a massive difference – not just in my life but in the lives of everyone who goes there.

I’m so thankful for the financial support, the mental support, every Tuesday [the ‘Wisdom For Life’ training school], the encouragement, being family friendly and having a place where my kids are welcome too.