Because of an addiction to crack cocaine and heroin, I spent two years in prison in a foreign country, was then deported to South Africa and finally ended up living on the streets of Durban. I had harmed my parents to the point that they could no longer cope with having me if their lives. Things had reached the point where I was giving consideration to committing suicide as there was simply nothing left of my life and humanly speaking, no way to escape from the pit which I had dug for myself because of the life of sin and rebellion against God which I had chosen to live.
After seeking help at many other rehabs and institutions, things had only ever gotten worse. It was then that I heard of KwaSizabantu Mission and went into an internet café in order to look it up on the map.
I arrived two days before the Youth Conference that was hosted at the mission in June of 2012. The first sermon I heard preached at the mission was the first sermon that I ever heard Reverend Erlo Stegen preach. He preached on Romans 7:24-25: “O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!” I had never heard such preaching before, although I had spent time in many churches. When I heard that first sermon, I knew in my heart that this was the truth being preached. My life was never the same again from that day onwards.
I was enrolled in the CYPSA Restoration Programme at Kwasizabantu Mission and began to attend services and speak with a counsellor. As I began to confess my sin, I could feel the burdens of a lifetime of sin, guilt and shame rolling off of my shoulders and I was set free from the hold that drug addiction and the devil had on my life. God came into my life and began to work. For the first time in many years I could sleep properly again at night and it was the first time that I had experienced a joy in my heart since I had been a young child.
After my counsellors went with me to make right with my mother and father, and others who I had wronged in the past, I was given an opportunity to work in the dining hall to help serving meals. I said in my heart Lord, if this is all I ever have it will be enough if I can just seek you in this place – but the Lord had other plans for my life.
Today I am in the third year of an LLB degree and am working in the water bottling plant based on the mission. In part, because of the change that took place in my life, my father has also met with the Lord and has also now come to live and work on the mission.
For more than 7 years now, I have experienced the unceasing kindness, love, selflessness and patience of the co-workers, counsellors and elders of the mission, who surrender their lives completely to help people like myself and to save us from in front of the gates of hell. Daily, they assist us to keep on the narrow road and to avoid the snares that the devil lays for us.
I have experienced first-hand the fruit of the lives of Reverend Erlo Stegen, Aunt Lydia Dube and Aunt Eunice Ncamu who tirelessly continue with the work of the revival here on the mission despite many challenges, never wavering.
Their lives and the lives of those who do God’s work here on the mission preach louder than any words ever could, and are a constant reminder to me of the standard that the Lord calls us to should we wish to live a life of true revival, where rivers of living water flow from our lives to others who are lost in the desert of the world and sin.
God continues to work in my life, to teach me and mold me and to draw me into a deeper relationship with Himself, using those whom He has chosen to guide me, discipline me and share their wisdom with me. It is my desire that God will give me His grace to continue on this path until the very end.
“Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost
being, praise his holy name.
Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits–
who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”
Psalm 103: 1-5