My journey to here
Allan leads Property Link - a social enterprise that provides premium property maintenance, from fence and deck construction to painting and interior renovation work. 100% of their profits go towards strengthening local youth and families through the work of Community Link Trust (a part of the Activate Faith Community Trust Group). Allan’s heart is not just do to transform properties, but people as well, to see life-long change for our community.
My Journey to Here
On reflection, I had a pretty good upbringing. Dad was a very hardworking family provider; Mum was the homemaker, and I was the eldest of three. Going to church on Sunday morning with Mum was the norm for us and I loved Sunday School, Boys Rally, Youth and friendships back then. In my early teens, I made a commitment to follow Christ, but I didn’t really get the full grasp of what I had done.
When I was 16, I left home to pursue my passion of dairy farming and was suddenly cast into the big world with all the ‘fun’ things it had to offer… I very quickly fell away from my church friends, church life and my walk with God. In this time, God was continually talking in my ear, but I was having none of that and blocked him out. I knew deep down that the way I was living wasn’t right, but I was having far too much of ‘a good time’.
I did a lot of stupid things, made a bunch of dumb decisions, stressed my parents out majorly, and generally acted like the clown wherever I went. Just after my 21st, a mate & I went on our OE (Overseas Experience) via Australia and funnily enough, that’s as far we got. I already had a bunch of mates living there and my life very quickly turned into party central. They were crazy times but in the early hours one morning after a night out, I came home in a drunken state and a voice very clearly said to me, “Allan, what are you doing! You need to get your life sorted out. Get back home to New Zealand before it’s too late!”
Wow! This was a big wake up call. I responded and was back home in NZ the following week.
Shortly after that, I found my niche in the building supply industry and stayed with one company for 28 years. I’m forever grateful for two (non-Christian) men who got alongside me and invested in my career. They were my mentors, but I was keeping the best mentor I could have at arm’s length - God. He was constantly talking in my ear, and even though I wasn’t taking too much notice, He was still at work in me, continually molding and shaping me over time. Because of my past, I felt I could never be good enough to be accepted by Him. Still, He surrounded me with some fantastic people; number one being my wife Tina - the most amazing, loving woman I know, who I have now been with for 31 years.
My job gave us the opportunity to move to a few different locations, and I got to meet some great Christian men. Some of them have become great mates who have journeyed with me, spoken into my life, prayed with me, and done life together with our families. Gradually, the walls I had created were getting knocked down.
On the 1st of January 2000, I had a significant life-changing experience where God spared me from death. We were at the beach this day with extended family. We decided to go free diving for mussels, but I got tired very quickly and decided to swim back in on my own. When I was swimming back alone, I went under several times, and I eventually cried out to God to save me. Suddenly I saw a rock sticking out of the water right beside me. I was able to grab onto it until I had rested enough to swim back to shore. To this day I can drive to that spot and show you there is still no rock there; God showed me that He is my rock and my strong foundation. It was like He was saying, “Hang onto me and let’s do this together”. I also felt Him say, “You can’t have a foot in both camps Allan, get off the fence and come follow me for I have plans for you and you are not listening”. From that day, I recommitted my life to follow God for the rest of my days. I was baptized a month or so later.
Later that year we moved to Hamilton with my work and our family made the church that is now Activate, our home. We got totally embedded into church life, our children grew up here, were baptized here, and served here. The Activate Church family have been a huge blessing to us. So how did I get ‘called’ to Property Link?
I was working as the Complex Manager of the North Island’s first purpose-built Bunnings store at Te Rapa and had been really comfortable there for 14 years - life was good, but I felt like something was missing. I prayed about this for around two years and each time I asked God, “Is this where you want me to be?” He replied, “Yes, it is and now is not the time for a move.”
Then one Sunday night as a visiting American Pastor started to preach, God said to me in an audible voice, “Now is the time”. The Holy Spirit just come over me and I was like sitting there for the rest of the sermon questioning myself, “Did I just hear right? God was that really you?” And then right at the end of the sermon, my wife Tina turned to me and said, “you’re resigning, aren’t you?” What a confirmation! That night I went home in total peace and wrote my resignation letter. Despite having no job to go to and a son about to start medical school, I had total peace. (Tina was freaking out a bit though). It was a huge step of faith.
Around four months later, Pastor Ray Pickett rang me and said, “Are you up for a coffee?” From that initial discussion on, Property Link was birthed under the Community Link Trust umbrella.
As another confirmation that this was God’s plan, I’d had a dream of six vans providing assorted services to the community and mentoring, growing, and developing individuals through Property Link. We now have 3 vans, 2 utes, a bunch of other gear and can proudly say that 100% of our profits go towards the great work done by Community Link Trust. We also get so many opportunities to serve the community and mentor people every day. While the journey has had its fair share of challenges, I have kept my eyes on Him even when it seemed that no one else believed in me, and we are now seeing the fruits of His plan coming together.
I love being on this journey God is taking me on and having the opportunity to express the talents God has given me. I have a list of scriptures in my phone that are my go-to’s at various times. One that I have to be reminded of numerous times is: Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all that you do, and He will direct your paths.”
I still don’t have it altogether, but I serve a gracious God, a forgiving God and we are working on that together. If we align ourselves with the relationship God yearns to have with each one of us, life is so much more rewarding and fulfilling.
About Property Link:
Property Link provides high-quality property maintenance, decking, fencing, renovations and other property services to businesses and homeowners, who by hiring us also help their community with 100% of profits going towards supporting at-risk teens, solo mums, families, and individuals to make positive life-long change. Find out more: propertylink.nz