OFF TO A GREAT START
I was educated and served seven and a half years in the Royal New Zealand Navy.
I became a personal trainer after leaving the Navy and represented New Zealand in the sport of body building at national and international level.
At the age of 25 there was much to like about my life, as it seemed I was off to a great start. I fell in love and thought I would marry the girl of my dreams, have kids and settle down, well that was the plan.
BETRAYAL & REJECTION
On returning from the INBA World Body Building Champs in the USA, I was told that my best friend was sleeping with my girlfriend. I didn’t believe what I was told, so I confronted them and caught them in the act. As a result of the betrayal, I beat my friend up and the Police were called, so I left the scene, as fast as I could, very angry and bitter.
That evening I got soooooo drunk, resulting in me making such a fool of myself on the town and getting into many fights. I decided that I wanted to end my life. I had never been rejected before and slumped into a deep state of depression and made my way to Bluff Hill cliff to commit suicide.
After many hours of bitterness and tears I talked myself out from jumping off the cliff. So I decided to leave Napier and go to Ohakune to escape the memory of that betrayal.
No one wanted to be around an angry hurt person like me. My car got repossessed, I was asked to leave where I was staying, and I lost my job.
So I decided to leave New Zealand with only $500, a bag full of clothes and a one-way plane ticket to Kings Cross, Sydney, Australia, with a messed up, hurt, broken heart.
ON THE STREET
Within a week I would find myself homeless living in a park with a cardboard box to around me to shield me from the shame, and pieces of newspaper, like a blanket, to keep me warm.
I would clean myself in the public toilet and wander the streets in search of food and a job. I had hit rock bottom, and I couldn’t bring myself to ask for help from any of my friends or family. I was too ashamed to ask anybody.
I made friends with the street kids of Kings Cross and they gave me food that they stole. I learned pretty fast how to survive on the streets.
In my homelessness I got a job at a male escort agency and sold my body so that I didn’t have to live in the park.
I have never forgotten what it is like to be lonely and hungry and thinking nobody cares. At least I got hot showers and someone to talk to and a bed for the night. I started taking drugs to erase the memory of my messed up life.
My life had started to become a series of nightmares and making unwise decisions to survive. The first opportunity to leave the Male Escort industry came when I was offered a job whilst traveling in a car with a bouncer from Kings Cross. I was handed a 12 gauge shotgun and a balaclava in a green army canvas bag. That was my introduction into the dark side of underworld debt collecting and series of armed robberies.
I would find myself on the run constantly from the Police. When they finally caught up with me, I was on my way to serving my first sentence in Silverwater Maximum Security prison.
I made friends with many gangsters in prison and there was always going to be work when I got out.
I became a body guard for a man who had links to the underworld and who was constantly in trouble with bad men and I was always carrying a 9 mil pistol.
Australia for me was a dark chapter of my life, constantly on the run from Police and “Hitmen” because I was high on methamphetamine and crack cocaine.
My life was so out of control doing armed robberies and heavy debt collecting. I was constantly in and out of court facing jail or I was fighting bike gangs.
I was beaten and bashed by 5 men in the Hells Angels because of an armed robbery that went wrong. I had decided to confront them and was jumped on and admitted to hospital with serious injuries.
When I got out of hospital I planned a revenge attack. I was going to get some C4 explosives, grenades, and high powered weapons, get so high on methamphetamine and go waste them all.
When I was in prison someone had stolen all my belongings, from my apartment, including my Taiaha (Maori stick) that had my Dad’s name carved on it (“Teaokatoa” which means the whole world). I was distressed and rang my mum as I knew she would be disappointed.
Nervously I said, "Mum, I've got bad news.”
She asked, "Are you going back to prison again?"
I told her, "Yeah I probably am, but I lost my Taiaha."
And she stated, “Son, get it back.”
Question - Do you think my Mum would have wanted the Taiaha back knowing I was going to take on every outlaw motorcycle gang to try get it back?
When I found out who had stolen it I rang them and started to threaten them all if I didn't get it back. They sent a “Hitman” to shoot me. I ended up becoming good friends with the “Hitman” and he got my Taiaha back - he thought I was crazy going to war with the bike gangs over a stick. I had said “I can't go home unless I return with my Taiaha.” The Hitman then said "That's a wild story, now I know you’re not afraid to die.”
And now I had major problems with bike gangs that I still have to deal with.
GOD HELP ME
So I went down to the beach with a .45 calibre hand gun in my pocket, smashed on ice (methamphetamine), and my Taiaha to have a conversation with the God of the universe that I didn’t know.
This is that very important conversation that I had there at that very moment on the beach, at my lowest...
"God if you are real - Help me"
"I don't want to die at the hands of evil men."
"I’ll give this bad life and serve you".
Do you know that God hears prayer?
“For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome.” ~ Jeremiah29:11
When I went to sit down I tripped over a stick which looks like a shepherds crook and I felt something in the back pocket of my shorts. When I pull it out, it was a Gideon's Bible that my friend Benny gave to me. He had become a Christian and said “You’re going to need this one day bro”. I had said, "I don't need this bro"
I said to God, "I'm just going to open this to a page, can you talk to me?” This is what I opened to…
“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.” ~ Psalm 23
I didn't know what that meant, but I was definitely walking thru dark valleys facing death.
WRESTLING WITH GOD
GOD had heard my prayer, and I had made a vow to serve him.
“Praise awaits you, our God, in Zion; to you our vows will be fulfilled. You who answer prayer, to you all people will come. When we were overwhelmed by sins, you forgave our transgressions.” ~ Psalm 65:1-3
He is faithful and he had a plan for my life. He sent a man to speak to me by the name of Pastor Ken Berghan. My friend had told him about my life and he wanted to come and speak with me. I never forget that encounter when he came to my place. A 70 year old pastor who came to tell me about Jesus.
I thought he was crazy, I never really understood the language he was speaking and he didn't want to come inside and smoke methamphetamine.
Pastor Ken would then peruse me over the weeks and would ring and send texts to my telephone inviting me to church. I didn't want to go to church and when he would come to my house he would knock on the door and we would hide behind the couch and pretend we weren't home.
He would send all his Christian friends to support me at the district court, I thought they were all just as crazy as him.
LOST & BROKEN HEARTED
Then he said he wanted to take me to a special place and I was thinking what night club or strip joint does he want to go to? I thought he wanted to go for a drink and watch the girls swing round the pole at the strip club. But he took me to a park in Coolangatta that was full of homeless people with their bags.
I didn't want to get out, so I watched from the car. When he came back I said, "Its 10pm, why are we here?"
He said, "I wanted to show you what my wife and I do for God - we come here every week to find the lost and the broken hearted.”
He continued, "Do you know anything about Jesus?”
I replied, "Nope not really, is he like you?”
Pastor Ken answered, "Jesus is more than me - he is love"
Right there in the moment, I saw a vision of my messed up life and I felt so much shame and condemnation.
Pastor Ken asked, "Owen, do you have peace in your life?"
I said, "I have never had peace coming to Australia, all my friends are locked in prison, dead or on drugs. I don't really have any friends. Pastor Ken can you help me?"
He said to me, “I want to speak the truth in love to you.” He advised, "Don't be offended, but you’re a drug addict, and have many problems and you’re probably going back to prison again".
It was all true - I was messed up and needed help.
Pastor Ken gave me a bible to read but I couldn't understand any of the words because it was an old King James Version. So he gave me a picture bible. I could understand pictures.
As I read I got anxious when the pictures changed when Jesus was getting a beating. So I asked Pastor Ken for an explanation about the nails in his hands and feet and the crown of thorns, and how could someone forgive the people for doing that.
I shared about a similar story about been beaten by the Hells Angels and how I wanted to blow them all up and take my life too.
He said, “Do you have forgiveness for them?” I replied, "No, not really".
He said, "Why are you so angry, would you like to sit and tell me what's happened in your life and why you’re so bitter.” I told him that, “I don't trust anybody and that he would probably laugh at me and judge me, and anyway my heart is too dark to tell you what's going on in there.”
I said, “I'll ask you 3 questions, and if you can answer them, then I may speak with you.”
1) God is Holy right? - He says, “Yes” – I said, “Well Pastor Ken I'm not, I'm pretty twisted.”
2) God is love I heard you say. The only love I know is my best friend stealing my girlfriend. Do you think God could love someone like me?
3) Could God truly forgive me of things I've done? It would be easier for me to remain in the darkness than to fail all the time trying to please a God who is Holy, who I don’t believe could love and forgive me.
I told him not to laugh or judge me or I’d get up and walk out of there. Then I said, “Take a seat this will take a while”. I proceeded to share my broken heart of bitterness and all the rejection, and the many troubles in my life. He was awesome, he did not offer any advice or try to fix my problems but he sat there and cried and gave me a hug.
I didn’t just receive Jesus there and then, it was a process and after a couple of weeks I received Jesus as my Lord and Saviour - I was born again - I knew then that God loves me.
Now I had to make a decision whether to lie in court and to avoid jail or tell the truth and go to jail for a very long time.
In a vision, Jesus stood before me and said, “You will deny me tomorrow.”
I said, “I won't deny you, and so I will plead guilty.”
My lawyers thought I was still on methamphetamine and told me that I would go to jail for 12-15 years. They pressured, “Do you want to go to jail because one day you woke up and decide you want to be good? We know you've become a Christian and live with Pastor Ken but surely you don't want to go to jail?”
I said, “I didn't say I wanted to go to jail but I am looking at eternity.”
“Eternity for what?” questioned the barrister?
“I want to go to the kingdom of Heaven.”
The barrister and solicitor said, “You have truly lost the plot and you are out of your mind. You have paid US$39,000 for nothing, you could have represented yourself and used legal aid for free.”
I was about to serve GOD in a Queensland prison. After seeing a vision of Jesus I plead guilty to armed robbery charges and was given a 5 year sentence, released after 1½ years.
I led 81 men to Christ in Queensland prisons and I saw many healing miracles.
In 2009, I was released from an Australian prison, and escorted back to New Zealand by the Federal Police, and I was given a life time ban from ever going back to Australia.
GOD had spoken to my heart and he said "Nothing is Impossible".
TO THE NATIONS
I had an opportunity to share my testimony at Bay City Outreach Centre in Hastings, NZ. A lady there said she had a prophetic word for me and that I needed to listen to a video recording.
The lady's name is Heidi Baker, and she said in the video, "There's a man listening to me right now, God is going to give you plane tickets and visa's to nations, you are going to go to 30 nations.”
God can speak prophetic words through people to get our attention. I am not a follower of specific people, I am a follower of Jesus Christ and do the great commandment to reach the poor and the needy and to preach the Gospel message (which is good news). However, in this instance I saw the compassion Heidi has to go to places where many will not. And cry out to God in prayer to see His Glory manifest. And she has good fruit and the evidence is that she loves Jesus and is humble and gives Glory to God. The Holy Spirit moves with compassion and love.
"2011 will be a year of increase in worldwide evangelism, you stated that you had seen what Finny and Wigglesworth had seen, and that 30 nations would be impacted by the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ, and that there would be teams sent out of this house into Pakistan and multitudes would come into the Kingdom.” ~ Heidi Baker (prophecy)
"There's going to be people sent out of this house into Pakistan, and in Pakistan there's going to be a great move of GOD, through some people sent out of this house. I believe GOD is even going to call you to send teams into Pakistan, I believe you’re going to see a great harvest among Moslems, I believe there's going to be a greater harvest among Moslems than you've ever seen in the history of your movement, and there's going to be an impartation, an impartation, an impartation, impartation where the deaf ears are going to hear in the Moslem nations, where you're sent and where GOD sends you. And the deaf ears in the spirit realm and in the natural realm are going to hear. There's going to be an increase in the miraculous in the area of deaf ears being opened.” ~ Heidi Baker (prophecy)
I believed that she was speaking to me. I received that word and I said, "Here I am Lord, send me."
I completed the 30 nation prophetic word that was spoken by Heidi Baker, in January 2014.
HUMBLED AND HONOURED
I am honoured and humbled to know that GOD can reach even the most messed up person like me, and can take you from the gutter of the streets to send you anywhere in the nations.
I have seen and met amazing people in ministry around the world, that have no names, no titles in ministry, who serve GOD with all their heart, who are humble and have so much love for people.
I have seen hundreds of thousands of souls coming into GODS kingdom, and I have seen signs wonders and miracles. Glory to Jesus.
I want to thank Government officials and security agencies around the world who have allowed me to travel and enter into their nations even with an extensive criminal record.
This Bali 9 story is one close to my heart. Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran
Read the full story here (click on image)...
I have ministered in orphanages, hospitals, old peoples’ homes, schools, prisons, crusades. I have ministered to the poor and the rich, ministered in brick kilns to where people are in slavery and spoken to children who were trafficked in human trafficking and sold as sex slaves.
I have preached the gospel in prisons where they are on death row and I have seen many come to Jesus.
I have been in the jungle and the dessert, I have gone where you tell me to go.
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” ~ Luke 4:18-19
Lord I thank you that you saved me and allowed me to be a witness of your saving grace and mercy and that you have an amazing plan for my life, and for those that chose you.
We thank you for the Cross of Calvary and the price that you paid for our freedom. We thank you that when we repented and asked for your forgiveness you were faithful and just to forgive us. We thank you that there is no other name in which we can be saved, you are the King of Kings and Lord of Lords and you have the keys to Hell and Death. We thank you for the Holy Spirit our counsellor and teacher and our friend.
Thank you Lord that you wrote our names in the lamb’s Book of Life and seal it with your precious blood. Thank you Jesus that in you we have peace.
Lord we give you all the praise and glory for we were lost but now found, we were blind but now we see.
As I wrote to you today I have now been to 37 nations to tell of the greatest love story.
God bless and see you soon.
Owen John Pomana
SUPPORT - Owen lives by faith and partners and co labours with many to see souls coming into the Kingdom. If you would love to support him in prayer or financially, please contact him by email for details. (or PayPal - firstname.lastname@example.org)
SHARING MY TESTIMONY WITH THE WARRIORS
SPEAKING AT PROMISE KEEPERS NZ 2015...
Christchurch 21-22 August, 2015
Wellington 11-12 September, 2015
Auckland 2-3 October, 2015