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Arapohue Retreat: A place for rest and recovery in a country setting

  • Hope behind bars with The Wild Side

      27 June 2022
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    Back in 2003 the Lord spoke to Jan through Psalm 105:1-3 and told her to write a book about her journey from darkness to life in Christ: "Oh, give thanks to the Lord! Call upon His name; Make known His deeds among the peoples! Sing to Him, sing psalms to Him; tell of all His wonderful acts!"

    Many letters have come in from people in prison who have been touched by the power of this testimony. These books go places we cannot go. The Holy Spirit alights and ignites dead hearts, sparking the desire to find a better way.

    Yesterday at church Jan met a young man who had read her book in prison. He was encouraged and began to attend church. He wants to change his life and is looking for power to make that change. Jesus Christ.

    Excerpt from a letter from a prisoner in Rimutaka Prison:

    "Sister, your books are making a massive difference in the lives of these brothers in here. I pray the blessing of God on you to write another next level book of inspiration." - R M Edwards

    A sincere thank you to those who have donated towards the printing of books for prisons. Your donation is truly making a difference in people's lives.

    Radical Lives Vol 1 and 2 are also very well received in jail. These two books contain 35 true stories of Kiwi's who have overcome their circumstances and gone on to live restored lives in Christ.

    The Wild Side was the catalyst for founding Arapohue Retreat. As people reached out for help after reading The Wild Side, the Wild Side Charitable Trust was formed to establish a much-needed residential healing and recovery centre in Northland, NZ. The Vision and Partnership document is on for you to print, read and share.

    If you would like to give toward this work, or toward printing more books for prisons, you can donate on Please state what your donation is for. Thanks to our wonderful prayer and financial partners and volunteers. It's an honour to co-labour with you.

    Ray and Janet Curle (nee Balcombe)

    Wild Side Charitable Trust

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  • Arapohue Retreat April overview...

      19 May 2022
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    Cottage re-roof (at last!!!)

    The Lodge tidy-up has begun

    Two new salvations in one day!

    Team strengthened

    Welcomed a new guest

    Thanks to some very generous donors, the women's respite Cottage new roof and spouting is finally underway. Thanks to Mario and team from Northland Scaffolding, and Ben Zeier (Ben the Builder) doing the building repairs.

    Thanks also to Craig Sullivan, ColourPro Painters, Whangarei for waterblasting the old Cottage weatherboard, spray-painting with new grey wood stain and painting the trims.

    Massive thanks to our hard-working volunteers for clearing out the old Lodge shearing shed (took 4 people a whole day). It was full of borer-ridden old wooden furniture and old machinery (3 trailer loads + the tractor load!). Even the dead rats had borer! Thanks very much to Gavin Carey for taking care of business with his trusty tractor and trailer. Bob and Lucy kept an eye on the burn pile for us.

    Two people were born again and filled with the Holy Spirit last week, praise God for His love, grace and mercy, and we welcomed a new guest.

    This is what it's all about, making an eternal difference in people's lives.

    Encouragement from the visit of Phil Paikea (Ruakaka) of Safe Man, Safe Family sharing his testimony with David and Marie Curle, and Ray and Jan. The team was strengthened and activated by the prophetic ministry of Lisa Pickering (Whangarei) pictured with Ray having a look around.

    Your donation or grant THIS MONTH will help meet these urgent needs:

    Insurance: Would you help us to pay the following premiums:

    Pump and water filter shed, full replacement premium, $209.92

    Okahu House (men's accommodation), $642.44

    The Cottage (women's accommodation), $688.26

    Dargaville House (volunteer accommodation), $1,534.23

    The Farmhouse (currently the main office), $1,834.54

    Pillow and mattress protectors: For hygiene, to protect the bedding for guests $400

    Wifi: hardware and installation for Farmhouse, Dargaville House and The Cottage $1,455

    Arapohue Retreat vehicle: We need to recover replacing the retreat's ute clutch system, fly wheel and engine mount $3,967

    Okahu House (men’s accom): The roofing, spouting and downstair ceiling and interior paint are completed but we now need to cover the restoration of the inside of the top floor, plus painting the exterior $9,565

    PLEASE PRAY about what you, your family, your church, your trust or your organisation could donate THIS MONTH to help us meet the urgent needs listed above. Thanks for your prayerful consideration and support and a heartfelt THANKS to our faithful volunteers for their hard mahi and big hearts.

    If anyone has donated and would like a free copy of Janet's book, The Wild Side, please email with your courier address and we would love to send you a copy.

    Thanks so much to our precious supporters who partner with us to provide an invaluable service to some of the most traumatised amongst us who are out of options.

    Kind regards and many thanks,

    Ray & Jan Curle on behalf of the Arapohue Retreat team

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  • Reflections from Ray Curle (co-director)

      8 November 2021
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    It's been exactly seven years today that I married Janet Lisa Balcombe.


    The Lord led us to develop the Arapohue Rural Retreat, a healing and recovery centre for the those wanting to be set free from addictions and those suffering from life’s traumas. Although not officially opened yet, we have been ministering to many who have come for prayer.

    Reflecting on the miracles of God’s provision...

    - Over half a million dollars of private donations has come into the Wild Side Charitable Trust plus a generous loan from the Dugdale Charitable Trust, which enabled us to purchase the very run-down Arapohue Bush Camp.

    - Restore The Farmhouse (for our own residence with extra rooms for people we have been helping).

    - Restore Dargaville House (originally the old Dargaville Police Station set aside for our property supervisor and volunteers).

    - Re-roofing Okahu House (future men’s accommodation).

    - Painting the inside of The Cottage (future women’s accommodation).

    - Installing a $50K environmental septic system for the camp.

    - Replacing the old toilets and showers in the camp toilet block

    And the miracles keep coming...

    Last month we had run out of donor money and we had an electrician's bill to pay ($6,000). Then our GST refund unexpectedly came in ($12,000).

    Then last week at the Moerewa, Northland leaders meeting, Jan was talking to a lady who asked her what needed to be done to be able to take more people. Jan mentioned that The Cottage needed re-roofing, spouting, scaffolding and plumbing. When asked how much that would cost, Jan said approximately $40,000 had been quoted. This wonderful person replied, “It will be in your bank account today!" And it was. We have not stopped thanking the Lord for His miraculous provision.

    As this renovation can now proceed, we are looking ahead to some other urgent needs to put before the Lord and His generous donors:

    - Replace a bald tyre on our property supervisors car $150

    - Replace two tanks of water from an undiscovered leak yesterday $500

    - Okahu House needs the inside painted $600 for more paint

    - Okahu House needs the ceilings re-gibbed $1,000

    - Plumbing needed for The School House (equine mentoring HQ) $5,000

    - Building repairs and timber to the outside of The School House $6,000

    - Roof shelter, hitching rails and wooden fencing for the horses $10,000

    If you or your family, or your church or organisation feel led to donate toward any of the needs mentioned above, please go ahead and click the link. Together we have the answers to help the needy and hurting amongst us.

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  • "If you don't care about people, what do you care about?"

      8 October 2021
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    After Janet's memoir, The Wild Side was published, she received many calls from people wanting help. Busy with her and Ray's publishing business, Wild Side Publishing, her head said, "No! I'm too busy!" But her heart said, "If you don't care about people, what do you care about?" That's how the Wild Side Charitable Trust and the Arapohue Rural Retreat vision came into being.

    Even though we've been so busy doing restoration, we have helped a lady come off heroin and methadone and a man get off alcohol and cannabis. A gentleman is joining us for residential respite next week to get free of addictions. Many have received and continue to receive wisdom and advice for their inner healing journey, and there is a waiting list of people wanting to come for residential respite.

    And provision has been pouring in, project by project, thanks to many faithful donors and major supporters like the Dugdale Charitable Trust and several generous individuals and churches, and the regular monthly donors. Arapohue Rural Retreat, a place for rest, respite and equine mentoring, is starting to look beautiful.

    After another month of massive progress on building restoration and a new AES Advanced Enviro-Septic System now installed, here are the current urgent needs for your consideration:

    1. A team of 13 from Youth With A Mission (YWAM) Nelson, are coming up to volunteer to help us out on the property for a week, mid-November. We need to purchase 13 quality mattresses (for future everyday use), $2,900;

    2. We need to replace the old toilets and shower fittings in the camp toilet block this month before YWAM arrive, $5,000;

    3. Scaffolding and re-roofing (and repairing) The Cottage (women's respite), $28,200.

    Whether you contribute $25 a month or donate $30,000... your tax-deductible gift goes a VERY LONG WAY at Arapohue Rural Retreat.

    Wild Side Charitable Trust was formed in 2017 and has a solid board of trustees and advisors.

    Will you or your organisation consider how you can support the urgent needs? Your donation will help save lives and families.

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  • Dugdale doubles your donation in Aug and Sep 2021

      20 August 2021
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    The Dugdale Charitable Trust (DCT) is generously offering to double your donation (up to $15,000*) to re-roof the 'School House' located at Arapohue Rural Retreat in Northland. This older, two-story building will be the headquarters and an accommodation facility for the equine mentoring programme being developed alongside the healing and recovery respite being established by Wild Side Charitable Trust (WST).

    This unique feature of Arapohue Rural Retreat will be for children and youth experiencing difficulties in their home life or at school to have the opportunity to spend time with the four ‘healing horses’ — Deva, Divi, Brushka and Lacey.

    “From experience working with people and horses, I have found that the positive effects of equine mentoring teaches responsibility, aids personal growth by mirroring behaviour, builds relational confidence, establishes understanding of cause and effect, and encourages communication, love, respect and acceptance”, says proposed Equine Mentoring Manager, Vania Lamont.

    Your donation will contribute to the start of the restoration, repairs and maintenance to this old classic structure, which was a school in its heyday, as part of the Arapohue Bush Camp. As with many of the other houses and cottages on the property, which are in the process of being re-roofed and restored, the School House will once again be a magnet for young people who need some direction and loving encouragement to become self-assured adults in a topsy-turvy world.

    To celebrate the one year anniversary of WST purchasing this magnificent property in August 2020, one of the trustees, Chris Dugdale will match your donation dollar-for-dollar until a threshold of $15,000 donated funds is reached.

    In other words, if you or your organisation donates $50, DCT will match it by also donating $50 so we will have $100 going towards the School House re-roofing project.

    If someone donates $5,000 it would be matched by $5,000 so we would have $10,000.

    Dugdale Trust have committed to matching all donations in August and September up to a *total of $15,000 donated by others. They will match with $15,000, making $30,000 available for the re-roofing.

    All donations above the $15,000 threshold will be allocated to the many additional restoration projects urgently needed.

    WST was formed in 2017 and has a solid board of trustees and advisors. In the past year, the Centre Directors, registered tradies and volunteers have been restoring buildings and creating a large community vegetable garden and orchard to feed not only future guests, but will divert surplus to nearby foodbanks. In preparation for the Centre 'officially' opening for residential guests in the near future, the Trust is working closely with other local organisations serving the needs of Northland, and in fact New Zealand.

    The months of August and September 2021 are yours or your organisations opportunity to make a worthwhile, tax deductible contribution to an exceptionally worthy cause.

    Thanks, and kind regards,

    Ray, Janet and the team at Arapohue Rural Retreat

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  • The next big push forward!!!

      1 June 2021
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    A MASSIVE THANK YOU to all Arapohue Rural Retreat supporters. With your help, we stared down the giants and entered the promised land (the old Arapohue Bush Camp) in Dec 2020. We are contacted practically every day now by people seeking help as the rumble in the jungle resounds across the land about Arapohue. Many volunteers and visitors have already found hope and healing here, even before the the retreat has officially opened.

    We have laid down the base for the big community garden ready for a good harvest next year to not only feed those at the Retreat, but also the needy amongst us.

    The urgent need now is $30,000 to complete the camp septic / drainage work so we can begin taking more volunteers to push the work forward so we can officially open. If you, your church or organisation can help with this next big push forward with the establishment of this new faith-based healing and recovery respite, your tax deductible donation will be greatly appreciated.

    We cannot emphasise enough the value of small, regular donations, eg. $10, 20, $25 per week or month... it all helps!

    VOLUNTEERS NEEDED! Do you have a campervan or caravan that you can use for accommodation to volunteer for a few days and help us continue the work? The gardens and tree planting need to be completed urgently, there's painting and building to do... and WE NEED HELP!

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  • Now the work has begun!

      25 January 2021
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    Thanks to our generous donors who have made it possible to purchase the land for Arapohue Retreat and restore and ready the place to take guests who need care and support. The Centre Directors, Ray & Janet Curle are now in the farmhouse overseeing the retreat restoration work which is well underway. Current priority projects include plumbing and water to the main camp and restoration of the schoolhouse for the equine mentoring manager and the cottage for the women's accommodation. We will become largely self-funding in the medium term, but at the moment still need your help to complete the immediate work required to start helping the vulnerable amongst us.

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  • Now the work can begin

      22 August 2020

    Thanks for your kind support and donations. Because of you we have purchased the property and can now begin the work required to get the place ready to take respite guests in due course. We need your help now more than ever! This is a big vision with a lot of restoration work to the buildings and land to do. Thanks and blessings, Ray and Jan and the WST team

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  • Arapohue Healing & Recovery Centre Update

      5 March 2020
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    The Wild Side Charitable Trust has raised $70,000 toward the purchase of the property, and we would like to thank our the generous donors. The settlement date was extended from Sep 30, 2019 to Mar 31, 2020. We require another $300,000 to complete the purchase, and then we will be seeking funding from community and charity funders to commence the restoration work on the building and property.

    Are you as an individual, or is your church or organisation willing to contribute to the finalisation of the property purchase? The need for - firstly a low profile respite, and later, a residential recovery centre for those traumatised by various addictions in Northland, and New Zealand, is extreme. Your tax-deductible contribution will help secure the property so that the vision to bring hope to the hopeless will be realised.

    The programme philosophy of the Wild Side Charitable Trust for the development of Arapohue is to reach out, particularly to Maori in need, (utilising the Mana Enhancement tool to minister to the lack of self-worth among many) and to develop personalised healing and recovery programmes like the Salvation Army Bridge 12-step Programme.

    It will only take 120 people donating $2500, or 60 people donating $5000, or 30 people donating $10,000 for our initial goal to be achieved.

    No donation is too small, and all are tax-deductible (get up to one third back in the year ending 31 March, 2020)!!!

    The intention for this community is that we should be a place where the lost, the broken and the lonely find hope, healing and love. We have 3 weeks to raise this amount to meet the deadline.

    Please action the following

    1. Check out the 5 minute video promo

    2. Read the funding proposal

    3. Donate and share!

    Thank you!

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