Radical Lives
Volume 1 & 2

By Janet Balcombe

RADICAL LIVES is a compilation of true-life stories of radical people making a radical impact in the world today. Stories that will leave you breathless as you read how God is dramatically changing people’s lives.

True life stories you just won’t be able to put down from this posse of addicts, rebels, and gangsters, an IRA bomb-blast survivor, a serial entrepreneur and more. Stories of courage you will never forget.

Adrian Pritchard: armed robber gets a second chance
Anita Mary: hardcore alternative street survivor
Bernadette Soares: serial over-achiever & entrepreneur
Beryl Henwood: from widow to warrior woman
Bill Subritzky: international healing evangelist
Brian France: IRA bomb-blast survivor
Cheyne Hakaraia: drug lord to entrepreneur
David Silver: the reluctant Jew finds his voice
Janet Balcombe: meth survivor to author of The Wild Side
Koebi Hart: abuse & addiction to heaven & restoration
Matthew Needham: suicide survivor to man on a mission
Norm McLeod: sex, drugs & rock’n’roll to Maori leader
Phil Paikea: gang leader to anti-violence campaigner
Ray Curle: pirate to preacher
Tawhiri Littlejohn: session drummer to spiritual leader

Amos (Perese) Ale: Head Hunter founder to servant leader
Andrew Stroud: World Superbike champion finds true riches
Brock Davis: Rebel police detective becomes muso for the Master
David Laumatia: Senior Sergeant, role model and prophetic artist
Daz Chettle: From the gutter to inspiring the next generation
Gini Shepheard: From rejection, abuse and gang life to social worker
Hillary Kieft: Through abuse and abortion to pro-life activist
Jaewyn Major: On a mission to give prostitution the red light
Joshua Calles: Family man, Police Constable and BROKEN rising star
Louise Kapene-Green: Whose heart speaks through her hands
Marina Young: Pro-lifer and author, The Unforgotten Babies
Mark Mitchell: Warrior of Zion leader who danced with the devil
Omri Jaakobovich: Israeli Paratrooper and founder of HIT International
Owen Pomana: Ex-hardman with a heart for the homeless
Rosita Hendry: World-class acrobat and circus superstar
Stephanie Harawira: Leader of the Pacific Pearls movement
Talakimoana Hehepoto: Ex-Mongrel Mobster and hope-bringer
Tania Butler: Widow of Chris Crean from the movie RESOLVE
Trent Membrey: Journey from meth hell to minister
Tuhoe ‘Bruno’ Isaac: Ex-Mongrel Mob leader and author of True Red

JANET BALCOMBE conquered a feral Meth-addiction in another life, and her memoir The Wild Side continues to bring hope to many.

The Ashton Wylie Literary Award finalist lives a supernaturally restored life with her husband and son in Ruawai, Northland. She comes out to forage for food and for speaking engagements, encouraging others with her life experience and humour. She loves seeing people set free from the many bondages they find themselves struggling with, and together with husband Ray Curle, ministers in healing and deliverance.

Janet writes true-life stories and about the things that matter, lifting the truth above the quagmire of deception called ‘enlightenment.’​ She writes for the rebels, the addicts and the broken-hearted.

Book review by Julia Martin – NZ Christian Writers


Many of these stories bring hope that many of us can come out of the underworld or gang affiliations, and come out of darkness into the light and have a changed life. This book of true stories inspires change.” Owen Pomana

Radical Lives is a compilation of 15 dramatic true-life stories Janet originally wrote as articles for Christian Life News Magazine. From her own experience of a life without God, she can understand the miraculous and radical transformation that takes place when a person surrenders to God and is freed by the saving grace and power of Jesus Christ.

The stories profile former criminals, drug addicts, dealers, alcoholics, terrorists, gang members, social outcasts, and church dropouts. For some, their conversion was immediate, for others it was gradual.

The exciting part for me was not only reading about lives radically transformed by God, but the evidence given to show that most of these people have since put their faith into action by establishing or being involved in Christian ministries. In some cases they’ve written books to share their testimonies and reach out to others lost in spiritual darkness. Contact details are listed at the end of each profile.

This book is ideal to pass onto people who are struggling with life. Janet suggests concerned Christians could sponsor her book and make copies available free in strategic places such as rehabilitation centres and prisons.


MISSION: Connecting Christian writers in New Zealand.

VISION: To cultivate, encourage and inspire a vibrant community of Christian writers throughout New Zealand.

VALUES: Christian faith, God’s Word, professionalism, quality and social outreach.

NZ CHRISTIAN WRITERS is a nationwide collective of authors, bloggers, editors, lyricists, poets, publishers, songwriters, storytellers and writers throughout New Zealand. Along with our bi-monthly magazines and competitions we offer inspiring seminars and writers retreats to encourage, inspire and upskill people in their writing. NZ Christian Writers’ vision is to cultivate a vibrant community of Christian writers by connecting them to other like-minded writers in New Zealand. We welcome both beginner and experienced writers.

Building a Strong Family

BOOK REVIEW: Raising kids while keeping your family relationships strong isn’t easy. In this incredibly honest collection of stories, the Strong family share real-life learnings of establishing a family culture where everyone wins.

A Skylark Flies

BOOK REVIEW: Inspired by true events, A Skylark Flies is the story of two fictitious individuals from totally different worlds and is a poignant story concerning the power of true forgiveness.

Two Slices of Bread

BOOK REVIEW: Interned in a Japanese concentration camp—then finding peace at last… at the bottom of the world. This is the story of Dutch immigrant, Ingrid Cole.

Enduring the Dream

BOOK REVIEW: This book is about the journey of a young 17-year-old, third generation sheep and cattle man who had a passion to serve God and believed God wanted him to dedicate his farming career to ministry.

100 Years on The Street

Harvey Rees-Thomas’s new book captures a century of history and the unlikely survival and success of a Wellington church.

Get your theology from the Bible and enjoy ‘The Shack’ – Movie Review

What is more worthy of note perhaps is that the premise of the story, theologically imperfect as it may be, reinforces and parallels my own journey of healing, forgiveness and “severe” mercy.

‘As It Is’ – book review

Drawing on his life experience and time as an MP Gordon Copeland, sets out a passionate vision for New Zealand’s future.

‘Rubble to Resurrection’ – book review

Rubble to Resurrection brings together many previously untold stories of how the Canterbury region’s churches fared after the 2010-2011 eathquakes , and how the ordinary folk in the pews were able to reach out to their suffering neighbours. The book also asks what can be learned from this experience and used to benefit others in future.

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