Teen Challenge Victoria began in 1974 working in the streets of St Kilda. A decision was made after some years that the program should be relocated to the country to provide a secure haven away from the challenges of the streets. It’s been 30 years since the Teen Challenge program moved to the facility in Kyabram. I think it is fitting to honour the hundreds of men and women that have come and gone as staff members, support workers and volunteers, all of them making a contribution to develop the property and take it from being an abandoned orchard with just a large open packing shed and a few small asbestos pickers huts.
In particular I think of the late Gordon Broussard. It was Gordon that had the vision to take on the old orchard and see it transformed into a place that would then be useful to bring about the transformation of many lives. To see the old photos of the place in the beginning makes me realise what visionaries Gordon and his team really were. They simply began with what they had in their hand at the time and started to work with those who came for help.
Over the years the vision grew and with the help and support of many churches, and private donors the facility was added to. The packing shed became the main admin building which houses classrooms, a chapel, and staff offices. Also a number of accommodation buildings were transported to Kyabram from an old army barracks in Benalla. The gardens have become a thing of peaceful beauty over the years and provide a very lovely environment around the main buildings. It is hard to say how many thousands of men and women and their families have been impacted by Teen Challenge Victoria over the last 30 years, but I dare say it is in the tens of thousands. I also reflect on the generosity of so many of you that read these newsletters.
The only reason the work at Teen Challenge Victoria has been possible is because of the faith expressed through love and many gifts over the years. When believers join together and express their faith through love and support, anything is possible. So here we are 30 years down the track, standing on the shoulders of men and women of faith and vision, working still to provide many with the opportunity for life transformation. Thank you for the last 30 years, I believe the best is yet to come as we persevere in faith to continue for the next 30 years, “putting hope within reach of every addict” through faith in Jesus. Thanks for your support and prayers.
Neil Meyer Executive Director