A Long Line - Nick Edwards
…my legacy and heritage is filled with influences that remind me of how important it is to take what we have and make an impact into the lives of those around me.
I am fortunate to come from a long list of relatives who have taken up the mantle of dedicating their lives to bringing help and hope to those in their community.
From a great-grandfather who handed over a retail business to become a Reverend, to a grandfather who was a local GP doctor then decided to become Deputy Premier, to a father who gave up his successful law practice for the call of God … my legacy and heritage is filled with influences that remind me of how important it is to take what we have and make an impact into the lives of those around me.
Recently, I found myself sitting in a small graduation ceremony for some of the clients that we assist through our ‘Preparation for Work’ course at QES (a private training establishment owned by LIFE Community in Manukau). If I am honest, I felt a little uncomfortable, not because I didn’t want to be there, but because I was slightly sceptical of the impact that was possible in such a short time. It wasn’t long before my misconception was totally shattered…
Client after client stood at the front of the classroom and was personally encouraged by the facilitator and in turn was afforded an opportunity to share in return about their journey. Changed life, after changed life, redemptive story followed by redemptive story.
About half way through to the applause and cheers of the group, the ‘class joker’ took his place front and centre – this was it I thought, some light-hearted commentary on the course and no doubt based on his introduction a few laughs to come. But then … something happened that I did not expect: a few jokes and light-hearted sentiments in, and this man began to share about how he had lost all confidence; his hope in what his future could be was gone; his wife was not happy with him; their marriage was unsettled; he had pretty much given up on life. Through this course, however, he has restored his confidence and he now believed that there was hope for him, his wife was happy again, and he had ‘got his mojo back’. 3 weeks. Just a short 3 weeks. 3 weeks for a person’s world to be completely transformed into a place where his future looked far brighter than before.
As I left the room that day … Legacy echoed through my mind. What could happen as we become a leading community agency? What could happen when we are able to contribute $20m of community impact? How many people are out there looking for what we can bring?
I thank God for the modelled lives that have gone before me … but now it’s my turn. To pick up the mantle, play my part, bring what I can and help to shape a Generational Echo for those around me.
Development & Engagement Manager