As a Christian organization, the KwaSizabantu Mission remains true to its calling to help restore lives and reconcile people to God through faith in Him. The outstanding work the Mission and its workers do, the impact they make on communities, and the many life-changing and inspiring stories have sadlybeen ignored by the mainstream media so far. Devoted gladly shares with you some inspiring stories.
Talking to Keegan Pillay was simultaneously an interesting and inspiring experience. At first, I found him a bit reserved while he gave me a brief record of his previous life and what brought him to the Mission in the first place. But, his eyes and face lit up when I asked him about the work he does in the greenhouses where hundreds of thousands of bell peppers are grown. I quickly realized that he was one of the many broken people who annually come to the Mission for help. Once he was helped and saved, he decided to pay it forward and help others by staying and working at the Mission. His story told in his own words below, is both heartbreaking and heart-warming.
“I was once a slave to hatred due to circumstances far beyond my control – (bad) things which happened to me as a child. I was born into a Hindu family where we were short of nothing materially. But there was a lot of domestic violence, mental and emotional abuse, and I was molested as a child. I never exposed those who molested me, and this gave them power over me and the pain and hatred that I kept within made me a prisoner.
“This led to me living a life haunted by those painful memories, and I had thoughts of hatred towards everyone around me.
As I grew up, I became a violent child. As the years went on, the domestic violence continued, which led to my parents separating. This increased the hate and pain in my heart. I learned to smoke cigarettes at the age of nine, and by 12, I was already smoking dagga and using Mandrax. At 14, I was involved with the law and was sent to juvenile prison.“I was involved with gangs. My life was consumed with violence because I had bloodlust. My violent acts resulted in my being sent to prison regularly, and my life became a rollercoaster ride. Always high on drugs, I never spoke about the pain inside. I wondered how long I would live this life of sin as the things that I had done and seen, one only sees in nightmares.
“Often, I tried to get out of this pit, but it was a bottomless grave. I served considerable time in prison for the violent acts that I committed. Going to jail did not change anything but made me even worse, and the life of sin continued. By the year 2015, I was consumed and lost in a life of drug addiction and sin. I was, by that time, homeless. One day I cried out to theLord Jesus Christ, and He used my brother to save me as he directed me to KwaSizabantu Mission, where I signed into the CYPSA Programme.
“I thought that I had arrived at a ‘rehab’, but in fact, I had arrived at a place of restoration, not knowing that God had a plan worked out for me. When I came to the KwaSizabantu Mission, I had never experienced anything like it in my life. I was welcomed and loved by strangers that did not even know me, but were willing to help me.
“Looking back at my life, I am so grateful for being led to the Mission, where I have been taught about the love and grace of our Lord JesusChrist. I have learnt that although I may not be perfect, I am loved by a perfect God. I am so grateful for Reverend Erlo Stegen (the founder of theMission), and the workers.“We have been helped at the Mission and through the CYPSA Programme for free. I doubt there is a place in the world that would be so willing and kind to help guys like me, and without being paid for it. I am blessed to be living and working at the Mission for five years now, and this is the first time in life that I have truly experienced inner peace which I have received here.“Psalm 34:4 and 6 have special meaning to me: ‘I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.
About Restores Lives
The Concerned Young People of South Africa (CYPSA) is housed on the premises of the KwaSizabantu Mission and runs a three-week programme for people fighting addictions. Marcel and Romeo (stories below) both attended the programmes and are no longer broken people. The young men are now free from drugs and alcohol, and they willingly participate in the programmes. They still interact regularly with the pastoral caretakers, and they choose to work at the Mission as they feel driven to help others like they have been helped.