A letter to our Girls

26 07 2012


We haven’t met yet, but I just wanted to reach out to you and offer a little encouragement.
We have all made bad decisions, we’ve all done things that have consequences that we didn’t intend. I applaud you for choosing now to make the best of the situation you find yourself in.
I wanted to offer you a little encouragement that I have received from a source you probably would not have guessed.

A long time ago, an older man wrote a letter to a young friend of his. This young friend was struggling with people looking down on him because he was young. People would not treat him with the respect he was due simply because he was young.
The challenge and encouragement the older man wrote for his young friend was to not let people look down on him because he was young, but rather, to be an example in how he spoke, how he lived, how he loved, how he believed and how he pursued purity in his life. You see, if people judge you based on one decision you’ve made, and you have demonstrated since that time a pursuit of wisdom and good choices, it is them that is shown to be the fool.

You have an incredible opportunity. Right now, this very day, you can choose what kind of person you want to be. You can choose whether you want your life to be characterised by bad decisions and bad consequences or you can choose to have a life characterised by good choices and good consequences.

The choices that we make are like bricks building a house. The house you get is built out of the bricks you use.

Like I said before, we have never met. We know nothing about each other. What I want to encourage you with is that if you want wisdom, if you seek after a life worth living, if you want to be an amazing mother, if you want to raise your child with insight, skill and support – we would like to help.

Hopefully, one of these days we will be able to meet face to face, but until then, know that we care and know that your life has value far greater than you have ever dreamed.

The Nadine Joyce refuge

God has blessed us

29 04 2012

God has blessed us.

Let’s be clear about this.

Without God’s provision we could never have come this far. Diana and I started with a dream … well actually, Diana had a dream and I supported her. What we have is a willingness to start and a desire to do something we think is close to God’s heart – what we did not have is the skills and experience necessary to start a not for profit organisation.

Hence my statement that God has blessed us.

I watch in awe as God is performing a mighty work in my wife (she is definitely developing those skills and gaining that experience).

I watch in amazement as God provides people to scrutinise our constitution (a job I have been meaning to do for a year), and people willing to serve in the roles of treasurer and secretary.

What Diana and I have been wanting, is for this organisation to be more than us. If it were just us, it would never happen. I am loving seeing others who have the same desire as us step forward and fill the holes. I am loving watching God make this not about us.

God has blessed us.

What is even more exciting, is that the first stage of our plan, the incorporation, is just about dealt with, which means that soon we will be able to start focussing our energies on stage two: curriculum development! That may not sound exciting to you, but talking through ideas on how to live life with greater wisdom and then trying to get those ideas into a teachable format in a group setting sounds fantastic to me. :)

All I can say is thanks be to God because He takes care of us and provides what we need.

What silence?

29 03 2012

Well, it’s been more than a year now of silence – but don’t be fooled, silence here means things are going crazy in our home!

The Nadine Joyce Refuge is an important part of our family’s life – but family comes first.

We have been greatly blessed over the last year by the support and encouragement of our expanding team and those that support us in prayer – particularly the members of our church family. We have even been taken on as a supported ministry by World Changers which is the outreach arm of Warnbro Community Church.

Something that I need to remind myself of, is that this dream that we have is absolutely impossible for us to accomplish – which is why we so desperately need to rely on God.

We have been slowly moving along over the last year and we are right on the edge of one of the major stepping-stones toward this dream – incorporation!

Once that happens, we will be moving into phase 2 of our development which is programming and fundraising.

I am excited about this year, I think that this will be the year that we kick up a gear and really start moving toward the target of actually opening a home!

I am thankful that God has kept us on course during the last year – it has been frustrating to me to feel like we haven’t been making progress, but the Lord has been holding things back for good reasons.

It will be exciting to see what those reasons have been as things start to move.

One of the things I love about tackling a task like this is that I KNOW that this is the kind of thing God wants to see us doing. As a reflection of our relationship with Him, He wants to see us reaching out to those that have needs, to those who are hurting and I think He will bless our desire.

My thanks again to those who have been praying, we appreciate you.

Mostly though, the thanks goes to our Heavenly Father, the one that answers prayer.

Now I would like to issue us all with a challenge.

I challenge each one of us to look around in our sphere of influence, in our neighbourhood, in our workplace and look for those that are hurting, those that are struggling and look for ways to help. Let us ask God for insight to see the need and wisdom, courage and resources to fill the need.

When we pray for someone who has a need, I think that God wants us to get off our rear and seek to be the avenue through which He answers our prayer.

It would be great if you decided to help out with our dream, but it would be even better if we all took responsibility for those around us and became the caring hands of the Almighty in our own sphere of influence.

Imagine how great the change would be in our community if we all demonstrated the reality of the kindness and love of our faithful Creator.

Imagine the change in us!

It’s exciting to think about – now lets act!

Leave the Wooden Swords Behind

6 01 2011

Hello to all and a Happy New Year!!!

2011 is here, ready or not. I spent the final moments of 2010 thinking about what 2011 had to offer and the area of my life that holds so much anticipation for the coming year is The Nadine Joyce Refuge.

I know that New Year’s Resolution are the “done deal” at this time of year, but after years and years of trivial resolutions, made mostly about weight loss and food (none of which came to fruition), several years ago I made a choice to throw them out. Incidentally that choice was as a result of something my grandmother, Nadine Joyce, said to me in a passing conversation. She told me that she no longer makes resolutions concerning herself but rather to God and others. Instead of resolving to be better for herself instead she resolves to serve her saviour  and others better. I am not trying to discourage “goal-setting” but instead a re-evalutaion of resolve. The definition of resolve is as follows:

1. To make a firm decision about.
2. To cause (a person) to reach a decision.
3. To decide or express by formal vote.
4. To change or convert.
5. To find a solution to; solve.
6. To remove or dispel (doubts).

Resolve is a powerful word. In its truest sense I think it is the idea of an immovable and unwavering decision. The phrase “New Year’s Resolution” implies the idea of ‘giving it a good go’ or ‘having a stab at it’. It’s like comparing a veteran knight to that of a young boy with a wooden sword…

So why have I yammered on about word etymology? Because what the Nadine Joyce Refuge is, and ultimately our goal is to pass on to our girls, is RESOLVE. Lets take a look at those definitions and see what they mean to us as an organisations and one day to our girls.

1. To make a firm decision about.
As an organisation we must make a firm decision this year to face the trials, jump the hurdles, and press on with endurance towards the goal.
For our girls they will need to make a firm decision to be the best parent they can be, and to stick to the programs that will help them achieve that.

2. To cause (a person) to reach a decision.
As an organisation we will have to reach MANY decisions this year. We must resolve to pursue the best answers, make the hard choices and not let indecisions be our undoing.
Our girls will nee to resolve to make good decisions, to make different choices, and ultimately make one of the hardest decisions of all and that is to put selfishness aside and do what’s best for baby.

3. To decide or express by formal vote.
This year we need to become an organisation. We need to be incorporated with a board with formal decisions and formal votes.
Our girls will need to trust the outcomes of the board and those votes. Even though they might not understand it that way, ultimately, they will need to be resolute in their trust of us to get the most out of the program we offer.

4. To change or convert.
As an organisation we need to change and convert when we see a better way without compromising who we are and the values we stand by.
Our girls will have to change and convert on the most fundamental level, they will have to change from child to mother, and it will be our privilege to help them and guide them through that rocky transformation.

5. To find a solution; to solve.
As an organisation we will have to find solutions to the many hurdles that lie between where we are at and opening our doors with an engaging and purposeful program.
Our girls will have to find solutions to the myriad of difficulties and problems that lie on the road of teen pregnancy and motherhood. My prayer is that the programs and information we offer will be the solution to many of their problems.

6. To remove or dispel (doubts).
We need to dispel the doubts! We have a wonderful solution to a critical social problem. Our job is to remove or dispel doubts from any critics we come across and give them assurance that we are relevant, sustainable, and equipped  to be the solution.
Our girls will need to remove and dispel their own doubts and those around them that they can’t be a good mother. Our girls need to leave us without doubt that they have the skills to be a good and responsible parent.

It is with great anticipation and excitement that I look forward to 2011. I pray that it is with resolve we press forward as an organisation and as individuals. We have already been blessed with some new people with some greatly needed skills. Over the coming month I hope to have them share their stories with you here on the blog and introduce the amazing people God has brought to us.  I pray that those of you reading this find something that is outside of self that you can commit to with resolve.

Be the Knight wielding the shining sword and leave the wooden swords in 2010!


What’s that foundation for?

5 11 2010

Well, it has been a bit quiet on the blog, but here in reality things have been far from quiet. We have been busy bees and have lots to share. To start with I want to say a big THANK YOU to all of you who post a link to our site on your facebook pages. Nothing gets the word out better then word of mouth. We have had several people contact us with an interest to help because they saw our site on a friends facebook page. The simple act of sharing a link helps us share the vision, spread the word, and find other people with the passion to help! So if your reading this, and you have a facebook PLEASE post this link on your page and help us spread the word!

We had our very first meeting about a week ago and it was wonderful to sit and share what we have done and what we still need to do.At the meeting we shared that we have found a parenting course called Tool Box that is developed in New Zealand and is already being used with success with a group of teen mothers in Kiwi Land.  They had their facilitator training coming up and we were so disappointed that we were not going to be able to make it due to a conflicting schedule. We were so excited when Sue said she would love to go and fill us in with all the details afterwards. The training was actually held at a group home for teen mums up by the city, and they too are going to be using the Tool Box series with their girls. We are excited to be in contact with them and will hopefully have the opportunity to learn some of the details of their organisation. Not only have we found a a great parenting program we’ve also found another organisation to learn from!

With all highs their are always lows, and in effort to be transparent about both I have to admit we have had some lows as well. It’s very easy to get overwhelmed and bogged down in all the different organisational details and loose sight of the end result. One would think that it would be as easy as renting a house, getting two teen mums and help them. That is not the case, and to be honest I’m happy it’s not. There have been so many things we have learned that will help us to be more for the girls when they finally come. We want to tick all the boxes and really do things right from a legal point of view which equates to lots of red tape. Recently we have been chasing up a quote on how much the liability insurance would be for the refuge. We found an insurance agency who will take us on but the day i got the 15 page document to fill out for a quote, well, I sat and cried. It wasn’t the filling out of the paperwork that had me in tears, but rather that 14 of the 15 pages where all things we hadn’t even considered. One line said ” please provide a copy of your working with children protocol” and we haven’t even crossed that bridge yet! After a good cry I realised that this large document was a real blessing. It’s a roadmap of specific policies and procedures that we want to have. That said, I’m faithfully praying for a team of people who will help to take on the workload; people who can type up different protocols that we can simply tweak. So if you are that somebody, please contact us. Our details are under the “Contact Us” tab at the top.

Now, about the title of this post- “What’s that foundation for?” Have any of you ever seen a foundation being laid for a house? Most of us probably have. It’s a big piece of concrete on a level surface. What about the foundation for a skyscraper? I’ve never seen one up close, but I remember watching a documentary once about it. To build a skyscraper you have to dig this ENORMOUS hole, and then scaffold it, reinforce it, and build a very complex structure that will ground and hold up the whole building. The foundation, which is never seen once the building is built, takes longer to build then the whole building on top of it! What I keep asking myself is “Do I want to build a foundation that will hold a house, or one that will hold a skyscraper?” A house foundation only needs to be level and stable, a skyscraper takes excavating and a lot of time! The reality is that I want the Nadine Joyce Refuge to be a skyscraper!!! The problem with that is it takes a whole lot of digging and excavating in my own soul to build it. It sure has been a refining experience, but my prayer is that we will be faithful in building the right foundation and one day, we will stare up in amazement at the skyscraper that has been built on that foundation!

If you are interested in coming and hearing what we are up to you are welcome to join us at our next meeting. E-mail us and we will send you our address and phone number. Our next meeting is on Thursday November 25 at 7:30. We look forward to meeting any of you who want to jump in the hole with us and help us on this amazing journey.

Judah talks about the Nadine Joyce Refuge

24 10 2010

Our son Judah wanted to share why he wants our family to start the Nadine Joyce Refuge. Here are his thoughts…

Hello this is Judah, Murray and Diana’s son. The reason I really want to do the Nadine Joyce Refuge is so we can help girls who are pregnant and we are hopefully going to teach them about how God loves them. We are going to try and help them to make wise choices and to teach them how to be a good mother, to clean up after babies, how to  make healthy food, and how to make money. Another reason why I want to start the refuge is that I want to show them God’s love .

-Judah Henderson (7 years old)

Next Step

5 10 2010

Some have asked us what’s the “next step” for us. To answer that question is that we need a team! We need 6-8 other people who want to offer their specific talents. We have already had 2 very knowledgeable and well respected people in this field offer to come and share their experience and train our team!!! Before they can train us we need the team. Below are a few specifics roles that would be of great benefit, but by no means are we limiting the team to only people filling one of these!

PR abilities
A lawyer to set up our “Organisation”
Someone with a counseling degree would be great
Someone who would like to come alongside me and help with figuring out the day to day details of the program for the girls
Someone with midwife skills
A Dietician to help with the special nutritional needs of teen mums

Please join us in prayer about this. We are so excited to meet the amazing people that we get to share this adventure with and know that we could never do it without them and the all powerful hand of our mighty God!
We covet your prayers and look forward to sharing the amazing way God provides for this next step!


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