I am a 14-year-old girl and I grew up on a farm in the Free State. Since childhood, I attended Youth Conferences at Kwasizabantu Mission which were the highlight of my year. In 2017, my two siblings and I were at KSB attending the July Youth Conference. It was then that we heard that our parents, who had been traveling home, had been in an accident. My mother was not severely hurt; however my father had serious neck injuries. Distraught and terrified, we went to see the only person who we felt would be able to console us – Rev. Erlo Stegen.
As I sat sobbing next to him he lovingly put his arm around me and comforted me. What he did next, is something that I will never forget. He told us that he would fly us to Bloemfontein, where my father was in hospital. That is exactly what he did the next day. Later, I found out that he had not been feeling well and yet was still willing to fly two hours to take three children – who were not even related to him – to see their father. Rev. Erlo Stegen is the most kind, loving and gentle person that I know.
I now attend Domino Servite School and am very happy living on the Mission. It is an oasis of happiness and I have never regretted coming here. Even in the time of the Covid-19 pandemic, we have been surrounded by people who want to protect us and care about our welfare. Kwasizabantu is truly a place that helps people.
Here, at KSB, we receive free water, free electricity, and free food! Talk about us being depressed and badly treated! People also say that if you visit here, you are just given a fake impression of how wonderful it is here, when if you live here life is actually terrible – I have visited here many times and also, since 2019, lived here. The visits were wonderful, and living here, well, I can honestly say that living here has been nothing near to terrible!
I have not been told to write this letter – I have done it with my own free will. (Just in case you think that I have been brainwashed – I have not. It was my choice to come here, and I have the choice to leave too, though I have no intention of making that choice. Kwasizabantu is my second home now, and I love it just as I love its founder, Rev. Erlo Stegen.)
Michelle van Hasselt