Samuel was orphaned at a young age. He was taken in by an uncle who was heavily involved in crime and would often be away for long periods of time.
“I was left by myself on many occasions and after a while I became rebellious, disrespectful and stubborn,” Samuel recalls. “My ongoing bad behaviour eventually led to me being expelled from school. A lady who lived close to me named Thembisile (which means ‘Promise’), saw what I was going through and began sharing God’s promises and His unfailing love for me. I could feel something change inside me. When I enrolled at a new school the following year, I met a pastor who was running Bible League’s Project Philip program. He said that God has a specific plan for me; a plan to prosper me and to give me hope and a future. The course of my life changed from that moment,” says Samuel.
Jennifer Mtungwa is a sixteen-year-old girl and a grade 8 learner at Hulwazi Senior Secondary School, which is in the eastern part of Johannesburg City.
“I was devastated. My father had been in care for a number of months and the doctors had told us his condition was improving – and then this happened. My mom kept telling me that God’s will must prevail for His mercies endure forever. I just saw God failing us and decided I didn’t have time for Him.”
“School was my escape. I could get away from the drama at home, it became my place of peace.”
“One day, a pastor preached at our assembly, sharing a message which seemed to be specifically directed at me. Even though I didn’t, my mother completely trusted God and this pastor seemed to share her faith. When he said that he was going to begin a class I saw it as an opportunity to find an answer to the questions which had been bothering me.”
Gregory Mathebula is a 16 year old boy from a village called Tshilamba, in Venda, Limpopo Province, South Africa.
“My mother was solely responsible for raising me and my four siblings” says Gregory. “Culturally it was unacceptable for women to work, and though my mother tried, we often went without.”
“At a young age I was diagnosed with epilepsy and even though my mom sought out the best medical attention she could afford, we were largely left to fend for ourselves. I suffered an attack at school and awoke surrounded by my family, other students and teachers all looking at me helplessly. I was both ashamed at my condition and angry that God would allow me to suffer.”
“I was admitted to hospital for a time and when I returned to school a pastor found me and asked if I’d like to join a Bible study class. I told the pastor there was no reason for me to join the group, God didn’t care about me and my condition was proof of that.”
“The pastor didn’t give up and continued to ask me to come. To stop him asking, I agreed to attend one class.”
“That very lesson I learnt that God had a plan for me from the time I was created. I heard that He has a plan and a purpose for my life, that our view is very limited and so we must trust in Him. This changed my outlook on life. It took time but through the course of the study the anger I held faded and my views about God failing me completely changed.”
“On the day of graduation we were awarded a certificate and a G.O.L.D. Life Bible, my first Bible. I was so excited. Immediately after I received it I wrote my name in big letters on the inside.”
“My deepest appreciation goes to Bible League for thinking about us in the schools and for putting our lives on track. To all the partners who give, thank you for making it possible for me to have my very first Bible.”
“My name is Sarah Maleke, a 15 years old grade 8 learner at Daveyton High School, in Daveyton, a township situated in the eastern part of Johannesburg, South Africa.”
“I was orphaned when I was seven years old” recalls Sarah. “My parents had been on the road travelling and were involved in a terrible accident. For a long time I had nowhere to go and I ended up staying wherever I could find a place to sleep. Sometimes on the street, other times with strangers kind enough to take me in. Eventually, after about a year, my aunt found me and took me into her home.”
“I was lost, having no plans for my future, I began to do only the things which made me feel good. I began hanging out with friends that were a bad influence and it came to a point I was nearly expelled from school.”
“One day a pastor came to our school and I noticed something different about him. Usually I ignored the pastors who came in because they were so boring! This one talked about God in a way I had never heard and after he finished we were invited to attend a program called G.O.L.D LIFE. ”
“I was hooked from the first lesson. This class completely changed my perspective of God. I stopped feeling sorry for myself and made a decision to walk in the plan God has for my life.”
“Ever since I completed the program, my schooling has improved, my relationship with my aunt is better and I have begun attending the church of this pastor. I thank Bible League for making it possible for my pastor to run this program in our school.”
Legeo Mashego is a nineteen-year-old girl and a grade 12 learner at Letsatsing Combined School, which is situated in the western part of Johannesburg, Gauteng Province, South Africa.
“I didn’t always live in the city” says Legeo. I was born in a small province about 400 kilometres away from Johannesburg. My parents were kind and loving and I had every opportunity to excel. We moved to the city because my parents found better work and when we moved, everything changed for me.”
“The new friends I made got me involved in many bad habits like smoking, drinking and skipping school just to name a few. The people that were trying to talk me out of this lifestyle, particularly my parents and teachers, became my worst enemies.”
“I overdosed at school and was taken to hospital. While I was there, none of the friends I thought I had, came to visit. The only people I saw everyday were my parents, my teachers and even my principal came once.”
“I knew something had to change so when I went back to school and was invited to join a Bible study group, I did so without hesitation. One of the first lessons was about how we always want to live in the fast lane, going our own way without thinking of what God wants us to do. The more we read the book, the more I felt like these words had been written and directed to me personally.”
“On the day of the graduation, when we received our certificates and Bibles, I got quite emotional thinking of the life that God had saved me from. I will never forget that day, for that was the day I received the assurance of new life.”
“I truly believe that if it was not for the Bible League program I would not have been transformed. My sincere appreciation goes to the writers of the booklets and the donors who make the running of this program possible.”