Coming to the Mother of Divine Mercy Refuge was the first time I had people that supported and uplifted me and my family.
I grew up in the Islands and life was hard. I have a disability and my thinking is quite slow, and I have a speech impairment. My family always looked down on me. I was the girl who would do all the chores and was always teased and mocked for being the “slow one”. I remember that once in my late teens my eldest brother punched me in the face when I had done something wrong. I fell dead flat on the floor.
When I was 21, I moved to New Zealand. I was hoping for a better life. I met a guy and became pregnant with my first child. He was very abusive and an alcoholic, and he left me for another woman. I heard later that he died of an overdose.
My life at home was not good either as I was always being beaten by my elder sister. She would use a cricket bat or baseball bat on me or my children.
I was never given a chance to learn anything or to better myself. I always felt dumb and insecure because that is what I was always told. I felt helpless, depressed and tired. I had constant thoughts of taking my life.
Finally, I had a breakthrough when a support worker said she would try and get me out of my unsafe situation to somewhere safe.
This is where my life started to turn around. I found a new family within the Mother of Divine Refuge. I met Mother Susana who is the boss of the refuge but she serves all the families like she is a servant.
Mother Susana treats me like her own daughter, and talks to me with love and encouragement
I was raised a Catholic but this is the first time in my life that I have seen a real Catholic who lives for Jesus and lives like Jesus. Mother Susana loves Jesus and Mother Mary.
I have learnt so much in the Mother of Divine Mercy Refuge. I am a different person, even my children see that in me.
Today I am independent, strong and able to stand on my own. I am not stupid or weak. I believe and know that Jesus really loves me and my children and wants me to have a blessed life. I have confidence that I didn’t have before.
The refuge is supporting me and my children to have a better future. I thank God for this place and will never ever forget all that Jesus has done for me through the Mother of Divine Mercy Refuge.
Need help? Then call 09-820 0453.
In immediate danger? Ring police on 111, or if unsafe to speak push 55.