Destiny Church turning around the lives of some hard men

destiny church

Destiny Church through its Man Up programme aims to raise better fathers, brothers and sons.

The programme has had some success helping hard men to turn their lives around.

Here are two examples that have recently received publicity.

Paris Winiata was a drug dealer but, after joining Destiny, he stopped taking drugs and has been alcohol-free for a decade.

Toko Kopu has traded in life in one of New Zealand’s most feared gangs to help young men become better fathers.

Paris Winiata

Paris Winiata had a troubled family background but, as a teenager, he was a star in the St Bernard’s College first XV.

When he was 17, he was offered a development contract by the Melbourne Storm. But things did not work out.

Returning to New Zealand, he moved in with a couple of older friends and began selling drugs.

He had a brush with the law and received diversion.

“It was what really woke me up and made me realise that it was not the life I wanted to lead.”

At the suggestion of a friend he went to a service at the local Destiny Church.

And, after joining Destiny, he stopped taking drugs and has been alcohol-free.

Winiata is heavily involved Man Up.

Toki Kopu

Toki Kopu is one of several former gang members to join Man Up. 

He was heavily into using methamphetamine and selling it.

Kopu ended up in prison but, while there as a chapter leader, he devoted himself to “keeping the peace”, earning respect for helping families visit prisoners.

When he got out of prison he was ready to do something good.

“If I didn’t want to change I wouldn’t have stood up.”


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News category: New Zealand.

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