Testimonies of changed lives

Andre

My name is Andre Joseph Niekerk. I’m a coloured male born in KZN, Durban. My family decided to move to Johannesburg about 35 years ago.  I grew up there and completed school there.

At the age of 12 I started drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes and marijuana and that was the beginning of a dysfunctional lifestyle that led to criminal activities such as gangsterism, car theft, fraud, housebreaking and carjacking. I later started dealing in drugs in one of the most violent and crime infested areas in the south of Johannesburg. I was arrested in 2001 and after 3 years waiting trial was sentenced to 15 years in a maximum security prison. Being released after a few years I went on to my old ways of crime, womanising and drugs.  I’ve been in and out of prison since then and in 2010 I tried settling down and got married to a Muslim woman with whom I had my third child. I embraced Islam that same year but things didn’t last longer than 3 years and we separated. I found myself back at my parent’s home and I was living in an outbuilding in their back yard all alone.

I decided it was time for a change. I spoke to family and friends and a very close friend of mine sent me the number of a pastor. I was in two minds about calling but something was pushing me to make the call and a few days later I called. I was invited to come to Betel SA in Pretoria. The clean environment really appealed to me and I saw something in the people that I met that I really wanted.

They showed me love unlike the love that I thought I knew. They introduced me to Jesus and encouraged me to have a relationship with the Lord. Life is very different since my arrival here at Betel – for the first time in my life I feel free and I want to do the right things.

I am pursuing a walk with Christ and I believe that is one of the best things a man can do. Because of God’s grace I am enjoying Peace and Life today.

 


 

Michael

I was born in South Africa and grew up in Jhb Gauteng. I got involved with drugs at an early age and was using drugs through my teenage years up to the age of 25. I tried everything to get free from drugs and attended at least 16 rehabs and nothing worked. I left South Africa to get away from the mess I had made, immigrated to the UK and found myself in the exact same mess there. In the UK I heard about Betel from a soup kitchen and decided to go.

It was different from anything I had tried before. The people were loving and caring and the thing that amazed me was that they were all recovered addicts. I desperately wanted what they had – freedom and victory over drugs.

I was with Betel for 7 months when I was offered the amazing opportunity to serve in South Africa. At the time I didn’t see it, but God was about to start something in my life that was going to change me forever.

We left the UK to come to South Africa. Serving under Eduardo and Jenny’s leadership we started Betel in South Africa. It was amazing to watch people from another nation come to South Africa and lay down their lives for other people. Since we have been here we have seen many miracles of Gods faithfulness and Betel South Africa has impacted many lives. Most of all I recognise the awesome change in my life today – I am free from drugs and have an amazing life in Christ. I lead a house full of men to the same freedom and impart work skills and ethics into their lives. I am a capable tree surgeon and a brick layer, I am also a proficient sales man. All this I have learned in Betel under the discipleship of the leaders in Betel.

 


 

Wandile

My name is Wandi, I am from Klipspruit in Soweto, West of Jhb. I was caught up from a very young age in drug abuse, alcohol abuse, stealing and all the other wrong things so my family kicked me out and I was living on the streets.

One day I picked up a flyer of Betel that had a message of hope on it so I phoned Eduardo and he gave me a place to stay for free and treated me like a son. If it wasn’t for Betel surely I would have been in jail or dead.

It’s because of my Betel brothers and sisters that I have a new clean and happy life. I am learning from Eduardo and Jenny about Jesus our savior. I have been here since the 6th of June 2014 and I am a part of the family now with Eduardo and Jenny as my spiritual mother and father.

I have learnt to become responsible and use power tools for gardening, landscaping and to lead many other men. I am blessed. Not just my life has changed but I am also learning working skills.

If Jesus could change my life he can change many. I pray that you will have a sincere heart when reading this letter.

Thank you and God bless you