Thuli Khemlo had a baby which brought an end to her relationship and her partying lifestyle. However, she was angered that her drug trafficking took her to prison until she experienced the unmatched love and mercy of God.
Growing up mixing ancestral worship with church attendance, Thuli says she disliked church because "I was a girl who liked to party with friends more."
She frequently neglected her schooling to visit her boyfriend, and at night escaped her parents to party with her friends and boyfriend.
"I thought my boyfriend loved me, but in all that I fell pregnant and my family chased me away from home. I told my boyfriend and he wanted nothing to do with me or his baby."
Rejecting her friend's advice to abort her baby, Thuli managed to stay with her friends, but could no longer attend school and she cared for her child full-time.
To fulfil her desire for income, Thuli admits she began trafficking drugs to other countries.
“I forgave those who betrayed and used me”"I came into prison angry at God and my ancestors for letting me come to this place, but I was forgetting that it's my actions that caused me to be here."
In prison, Thuli encountered unusual people who she says; "worshipped and praised God".
"One of the girls in my cell invited me to church with her, because she saw that I didn't want to eat, was always sleeping day and night, and crying to myself."
Despite rejecting her friends invitations to church Thuli eventually changed her mind.
At the service, Thuli recalls, "Preachers from outside the prison said to us that God loves us and that God is calling us to His love and if we accept Jesus into our lives we will be forgiven.
"I felt the Holy Spirit speaking into my life and I started crying in church. The pastor prayed for me and from that day I felt peace with me. I never cried anymore and had rest at night. My life became happier and I knew God has really forgiven me and accept me as His child, even after I had destroyed many people's lives with drugs."
"As my life was more peaceful and joyful, I knew that I wanted to know more about this Jesus who had started to change my life, while I was still in this most hated place – prison.
"I started talking and asking my friend, why they said that I am forgiven because I haven't asked God to forgive me as I was afraid He would not forgive after everything bad I have done.
"She opened the Bible and read through it and gave it to me as a gift to read and pray for forgiveness.
Thuli accepted the Bible and read it, praying more and attending church more regularly as she saw her life and her attitude changing.
"As I accepted Jesus into my life, I was baptised in here. Today I love God with all my heart, soul and body and I forgive the people who sinned against me and hurt me.
"I came to a place of forgiving those who betrayed and used me like the people I worked for travelling and transporting their drugs, as well as the old men twice my age, who left me in the dark after making me pregnant.
"It was the biggest step I took because my heart was stubborn to forgive them.
"Jesus helped me to forgive them by softening my heart and telling me that I must forgive in order to be forgiven. I also forgive my family for throwing me out and not supporting me.
"A year after I first came to prison, I was surprised that my mother came to see me after four years. She hugged me and cried, telling me that she loves me and has forgiven me. She wants me to come home when I get out of prison.
"Now I am happy that my whole family came to visit me here and they support me and love me.
"They have forgiven me and my child is now staying with my parents. And they bring her sometimes to see me."
Grateful that her family will accept her back when her sentence ends in 2016, Thuli comments, "My family knows that I have changed, and I know that I can never go to the dirty life I was leading. My parents even say that I am beautiful and gleaming, which shows that Jesus is within me and has cleansed me inside out."
Drinking alcohol and worshipping her ancestors will never be a part of her life, she says; "because I have Jesus in my life".
Forgiveness is now a miraculous mark of her new life. "Even the people who made me come to prison - I have forgiven them, as well as the father of my baby. I do not lie or drink anymore.
"My life has completely changed in a good way," she concludes. •