Thirty years ago in a poor Zululand village, a hippie young man came visiting from hut to hut, sharing about God's good news. This included the hut of Lucy Nkabinde.
"My family wondered what this man's problem was," Lucy recalls. "We went to church every Sunday already!"
The young man then asked Lucy's family if he could hold a church service in their hut and, despite their scepticism, they reluctantly agreed.
"When he shared the Bible and prayed that day," Lucy says, "I realised that this was something different!
"He read, 'But your sins are blocking God's face that God cannot see you, even though God's hand is not too short to help you'." (See Isaiah chapter 59, verse 2.)
Lucy felt the Bible was speaking directly to her, so that day she says, "I gave my life to Jesus," asking Jesus to forgive her of her sins and committing to a life of obedience to Him.
"I had thought that Jesus was at the church only, but now I knew Jesus was in this small hut too," Lucy adds.
The following day a swarming plague of foul-smelling insects came to Lucy's village so she asked the young evangelist to pray for God's help.
"After he prayed, I thought that the insects would die, but the whole swarm of insects left and not one stayed behind. I saw God's power in this!"
Lucy noticed another miracle had already occurred. After giving her life to Jesus, she began singing previously unknown songs about Jesus, and at church, she says, "I was surprised to recognise they were singing those very songs!"
“After he prayed...
the whole swarm of insects left
...not one stayed behind”Desiring a close relationship with Jesus, Lucy says she loved to pray in the grassy veldt when she went to fetch water, and often wanted to fast during meal times so she could pray more.
"On the fourth day of such fasting and praying, I was walking to my place of prayer and heard many footsteps walking with me, but I couldn't see anybody!"
These intimate times with Jesus, Lucy says, have filled her with courage to tell others about Him: "God wants me to help people to be set free from the devil, the enemy of God, and all evil works."
When speaking with people Lucy quotes the second part of Isaiah 59, verse 1, "Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear."
"I was shocked at what happened after quoting this verse," Lucy says. "After praying to Jesus with some people, they fell down on the ground, and demons came screaming out of their bodies.
It took a while for Lucy to realise these were demons leaving them, but she testifies, "I saw these people become free in Jesus' name and families who were desperate for help asked me to pray for them, as the witchdoctors and prophets could not help them."
During a house robbery, Lucy recalls another example of God's power, as He gave her peaceful knowledge that her and her employer would be protected from harm.
In 2012, Lucy was employed as a housekeeper by a wealthy Johannesburg family when four strange men broke inside and tied and gagged her and the other residents in the house.
As they robbed the house, Lucy says, "An awareness of peace came all over me. Through the mouth gag, I told my employer, 'Don't worry, they won't harm us.' There was no fear or doubt in me and when they left, I struggled with tied hands and legs to get a kitchen knife to release us.
"Throughout the ordeal, no thought of dying entered my mind. Instead the whole time I was dwelling on Psalm chapter 91: 'He (the Lord God) will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge... A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.
"God kept me calm and used me to calm my employer. God is greater than criminals. My message to people is to make sure that you know the Lord and His Word. In your crisis moments, God will be faithful to His Word in your heart!"
Lucy concludes by saying "God changed my mess into a message! I love to pray with people whose lives are traumatised in many ways."