One of the most powerful and unique things about Pathway, is the fact that there are close to 200 incredibly selfless humans that put their hearts and souls into supporting what we do through volunteering, both inside the prison and outside in the community.
One of those very special people is Steve Wyllie. A prison chaplain for more than 10 years and a Pathway mentor for even longer, he is an inspiring male role model for the men in the Navigate Initiative.
“The Navigate unit is something I’m very passionate about,” Steve says.
“It’s a wonderful thing and as soon as I heard about it, I signed up as a shareholder. I look after the evangelism, discipleship and pastoral care in the unit and that is just wonderful, teaching the men that they have value, incredible value to God, and that they’re loved.
“For some of the men, it’s the first time anyone’s ever told them that they have value and that they are loved.”
Steve recalls a man in the unit who recently committed his life to God, a man who didn’t believe he could be forgiven, having lived the life he had lived.
“For 15 years he was in prison struggling. It didn’t seem like there was any hope for him, but since coming into the Navigate unit, he realises he has tremendous value, that he is loved and that he has a purpose in life,” Steve says.
“A lot of these men, they leave that prison, they’ve got $340 in their pocket and they’ve got no one; they’ve got nowhere to go, no support and they’re just on that merry-go-round,”
Steve says. “But we’re here to walk that journey with him and that doesn’t end when he leaves that prison gate. It’s a journey for life now and we walk that journey together.”
Pathway Reintegration Manager Anaru Baynes cannot speak more highly of Steve. “These men, they see a lot of people come and go but the difference with Steve is, rain, snow, hail, gail force winds, he’s in there. If he says he’s coming, he’s coming and we’ve got a lot of men in that place who have never had that, who don’t understand what it means to have a male role model. That’s exactly what Steve is to them. He’s the engine room of compassion.”
Thank you for who you are and what you do Steve! We’re so very blessed to have you as part of the wider Pathway whānau.