“My story starts when I was 12 years old. I was near the end of year 7 at school but I hated it so much that I decided to stop going and that was when I started hanging out with some mates who lived in the area who weren’t attending school either. This was when I was first introduced to Weed and I loved it! All of a sudden I was happy and fitting in. My Mum was a single parent and did everything she could to help me by sending me to counsellors and psychologists over the next couple of years but I just kept rebelling and doing what I wanted. I got to a stage where I wanted to work so I could have money so I fast tracked my education and did my years 8, 9 and 10 at Dandenong TAFE in 18 months so I could get an apprenticeship and make something of my life. In that time I met a new group of boys and started trying every type of drug I could get my hands on and became a daily user. I considered myself a functional person with the drugs and didn’t see a problem with my lifestyle.
I got an apprenticeship and despite using everyday and constantly having run ins with the police, this was my life and I submitted to the fact that this was what my life was always going to be like (extreme highs and really low, lows). When I was 23 I had my first taste of Crystal Meth (better known as Ice), and it blew my mind. It was the best feeling in the world. I had found the drug of my dreams. It started off once or twice a week until before long I wanted it everyday and I was earning good money so I could afford it for awhile until I needed more and more and I was spending $300 a day on it so I needed a hustle.
By this stage I wasn’t using to get high but to feel normal. Burgs and Tic kept the gear rolling in, then I worked out I could get Copper rolls from where I was working, 1 reel got me $300 each time I took to a scrap metal place, so over a period of 10 – 12 months I was taking more and more and getting away with it easily. The more money I got, the more I was using, only sleeping 11hrs a week maximum and I was just living a hectic lifestyle that wasn’t me anymore. I started getting arrested more and more, lost my licence, had 3 cars impounded and my life started taking a downward turn. I became homeless but nothing really bothered me too much because I had gear and smokes everyday and still had my job which I loved, until the inevitable happened. I got caught in the act of stealing around $4000 of Copper.
That was when I hit rock bottom. Losing my job I had for 8 years, sitting in a cell on remand coming off drugs cold turkey. That was when I decided I’m never going to touch drugs again.
My grandparents were there for me at my bail hearing even after all the pain I had put them through over the years and the magistrate let me out because my grandparents agreed to take me in so I could turn my life around and I don’t ever remember being so relieved. Reality soon kicked in however being drug free and isolated from everything apart from doctors and drug councillors. I became extremely depressed and suicidal, which I attempted 3 times. I cant remember exactly but I know I had seen dozens of health professionals in a really short time, I would do anything to be well but noone or nothing would help except the drugs. All of a sudden I was back on it and feeling so much better, but because of the lack of cash I couldn’t use all the time and those days I couldn’t get on it were the lowest I have ever experienced. I ended up stealing from the two people that had saved me (my grandparents). I just needed to be high at any cost. I felt like the lowest scum in the world and that was the moment I said to myself this has to be the turning point in my life., I have to change my ways before I end up homeless again, in jail or dead. This is when Jesus started working in my life. A week later I met an awesome bunch of guys at a place called Elishacare. I didn’t expect what happened next, they started singing Jesus songs and praying which weirded me out, but instead of judging them I opened my heart and let Jesus in. I felt this amazing peace come over me (which I later realised was the Holy Spirit). My life and motivation really changed that day so I kept coming back and before long, Geoff gave me the opportunity to work with the boys which gave me so much purpose again. All of a sudden I was drug free and happy as well. I couldn’t believe it! I thank Jesus everyday for his mercy and for loving me even after all the mess I had created and the hurt I had caused. I kept getting blessing after blessing and then he blessed me big time! He brought the most amazing woman into my life. The most beautiful soul I’ve ever met. Her name is Amy and I fell in love straight away and I think she did too. To cut a long story short, we have a beautiful daughter Zoe who is the most precious little girl. She makes me smile every time I look at her. Amy and I are getting married in November 2018 and I’m now working for a fantastic company in the trade that I love. Ever since I started properly loving Jesus my life has got better and better. I’ve now been clean for 2 years and as long as I do what is right which is what Christ puts on my heart there will be no turning back. The old me is dead! Jesus made me a new man! THANK YOU LORD! Thank you Geoff, Dan, Sean, Barry, Craig and all the boys at ElishaCare for nurturing me and showing me the way, without you guys I hate to think where I would be now. GOD bless you! Love Brett Grigg.”


Brett Amy Zoe.jpg resized.jpg

Thank you

I want to thank you for, once again, taking my son under your wing, thank you! For almost 10 years now I have watched (mostly from the sidelines) the amazing work you do through ELISHACARE and how you have taken the Jesus mandate seriously, so much so, that your whole life is defined by service and sacrifice to the one you call Lord and Saviour.

Like, so many others, I have watched in awe and wonder knowing full well that the work you do is never easy as you seek to bring the gospel as the medium for change to so many broken and wounded men (and women) and so often you have had to bear the brunt of these broken lives.

Yet your faith in God and your love and compassion to those who most need it has remained strong.  Whenever I speak of you it’s always with respect and the recognition that you are a glowing and living example (to all of us) in what it means to be Christian. It’s far too easy to talk the talk but much harder to walk the walk and you have walked the walk for many years and done it with such integrity, such commitment and dedication through thick and thin through good times and bad. Like, so many others,  I/we salute you Geoff and thank God for who you are and what you do.

 Finally, I am reminded of the analogy of a great carpet tapestry where we only get to see it from behind (the wrong side) and all we can see are lots and lots of loose ends and threads with no seeming rhythm or reason and then one day we get to see it from the front (the right side) and we see a thing of such beauty a work that is well and truly complete. This story reminds me of you Geoff and the tapestry ( in your case) is ELISHACARE.


Friday 4th February, Cricket match, Croydon -IN MEMORY OF LEIGH

Yesterday morning Liz, Jade, Jenna and I relaxed under the shade of the trees at a park in Croydon for the 2nd annual cricket match in memory of Leigh. This is the brainchild of the guys from Elisha care –an organisation which was closely involved in Leigh’s life —accommodation and employment, caring and sharing etc.  It was so good to catch up with the guys again. Geoff Marsh — the head honcho — was not there for a couple of hours as at 9am that morning they had found a homeless guy, with whom they have previously been in contact, in a park suffering injuries. Of course Geoff took him to hospital and stayed there as they checked out the poor guy, eventually released him and Geoff took him to the ‘home of Elisha care ‘which is the old fire station in Croydon. It’s really quite comfy in there and has all the ‘necessities’ of life. However Dan, Geoff’s son and the other guys did a good job of organising the game, of course.  

After the game we had a BBQ. and a time of sharing. There were a few faces missing from last year – moved on for one reason or another, but there were a few new faces and  I enjoyed talking with them and hearing their stories. Although the new guys had never met Leigh they knew a lot about him, I think Leigh has become a sort of a ‘legend’ there. That makes me feel so good and proud to be his nan that he was so well liked and respected after all the rubbish in his life. I did remark that knowing Leigh was an experience and an education. I have met some wonderful caring compassionate and humble people I would never have known about if not for Leigh and I appreciate and thank God for that.

Bubba arrived late, very busy at the moment — but strangely enough just in time for the food — mmm really? Anyway it was great to catch up again, he’s always good for a laugh.

We all enjoyed the day and it’s a case of ‘this time next year’. Leigh would have absolutely loved it – playing the game – as long as he was winning, and socialising afterwards with friends. He may not have been there in person but I’m sure he was there in spirit.

Anne Koomen