This is Te Manu Heke's story.
“I was just another broken child in a broken generational cycle of poverty and pain.”
I grew up, in and out of Respite Care, and spent time in a Boys’ home in the Hawkes Bay. I never experienced living with two parents. I was raised by a solo Mum, who did her best to raise five children on her own.
By sixteen, I was a Dad myself. I tried my best but having no knowledge of how to be a partner, let alone a father - it was a lot of guessing.
“I always thought I’d make a ‘meke’ father and partner, but how wrong I was! Due to my past and dysfunctions, I was quick to lose it when things went out of my control.”
My partner and I were always fighting – physically, mentally, verbally. I have the criminal record to prove it.
“We never had much money. I’d always be borrowing – going into debt, making sure I could still have a good time on the weed and alcohol even if it meant bad credit with friends and family.”
I could never seem to get ahead or away from the pressures of my past or my current dysfunction. It took a toll on me, my partner and our two young children.
At the start of my process to get help, to overcome my past and all the hurt I felt at not having a father, was Bishop Brian Tamaki - a man that showed me how to do and be the things I aspired to be.
“He teaches me how to know and love Jesus, to be healed inside and to be secure in my identity – through him, I know how to be the best version of me. “
My wife is a good lady. She saw my potential and always knew there was better for us if I got myself right. We got married in 2010 and celebrate our ninth anniversary this year.
“Through my faith in Jesus, and the ministry of Destiny Church, my family and I have been transformed. Not only me, but my mum, my siblings and their families too.“
I have overcome so much in nine years – my family is happy, I’m earning well and always have enough. I have love and support around me to help us get through any tough challenge. I lead Man Up and my wife leads Legacy. I lead praise and worship with the Sound of Destiny family.
“My greatest truth is my transformed life, my experience is my authority – I once was this, but this is who I am now.”
I love being able to meet people where they are at and to offer them hope and direction toward a better and more fulfilling life. My wife and I love our church, our Apostle and his family.
“If he hadn’t of believed in Jesus all those years ago and continued to stand firm in his convictions, I know I would still be stuck in my old ways, repeating a cycle of ‘can’t’ and hopelessness.”
I am a life that has been changed by the work of Apostle Brian Tamaki and Destiny Church.