What started as a vision for a hopeful teenager has lead Nadine Allen to become a 'mother' to scores of young women needing to be "loved back together".
For the past four years, the Masterton youth pastor has run The House of Hope, a residential facility for teenage girls facing tough times, from teen pregnancy to suicidal thoughts.
The House of Hope is based at a six-bedroom property in Solway, a cosy, lived-in home, with a clear message, "Hope", displayed in almost every room: in pink lettering on a banner in the hallway, in silver block letters on the TV cabinet, in magnets on the fridge.
Since opening the house in 2012, Nadine has cared for many youngsters in need of hope, struggling with depression, in the grip of addiction, in trouble with the law, or bearing the scars of a traumatic upbringing.
A weighty responsibility -- but Nadine has found the simplest acts of love, such as preparing a meal, a long talk, or cuddling a newborn baby have gone a long way towards healing for her adopted 'daughters'.
"These girls are broken, and they need to be loved back together," Nadine, 26, said.
"They need nurturing, and someone to believe in them and not give up on them.
"I wanted to love them with a mother's love."
Nadine, a committed Christian, said she has dreamed of working with youth from a young age.
She first became inspired at age 14, attending a youth conference and listening to a seminar from US pastor Matthew Barnett, who founded The Dream Center, a church known for its outreaches to impoverished communities in Los Angeles.
"I felt I was called to start something in my own town," Nadine said.
In 2011, she decided to make the dream a reality, following a spate of youth suicides in Wairarapa.
"It broke my heart. I woke up one morning feeling so angry.
"I thought 'someone needs to start something'.
"I felt compassion for these young people, and knew I had to act on it, rather than just feeling for them."
Later that year, friends alerted her to a rental property in Masterton south, which she moved into and spent several months setting up as a refuge for youth.
In January 2012, Nadine's Young 'mum' gives broken girls hope
first young client moved into the house -- and was soon followed by a flurry of referrals from CYF and the Open Home Foundation.
Nadine said she has met a wide variety of young women, many of whom have come from 'broken families', been abandoned by parents, or passed around several foster homes.
Others had attempted suicide, abused alcohol and drugs, were in trouble for destructive behaviour -- and one had even been rescued from a brothel.
"Some of them had nowhere else to go," Nadine, who has trained as a foster parent, said.
Some girls proved difficult to reach at first, as they would "act out and try and test the boundaries".
"But I kept taking them back, and I think that spoke to them," she said.
"They had been rejected over again, and they expected me to do the same.
"But I think I proved them wrong".
Nadine said the girls' protective walls would break down when she showed them acts of motherly love.
She has spent hours cooking, running baths, staying up until 3am listening to their stories, helping feed and change babies and offering hugs.
"Affection was so foreign to some of them, and they'd take a while to accept a hug," she said.
"I wanted to show them how a family environment worked, and to do things like eating together around the table.
"I'd take them to a restaurant or to a spa, which some of them had never done.
"You don't have to approach them like a doctor or counsellor -- you just show them love."
Thanks to Nadine's care, several of the girls are thriving and have gone on to study and work, have embraced their own faith and now aspire to work with young people themselves.
Nadine said the house is in a transitional phase -- now that she has moved out of the house after getting married, she is in need of some extra help to keep the facility going.
"But I do want to keep it running it some form," she said.
"There is definitely a need for it -- it's been hard having to turn girls away when we've been full."