Old gone, new has come

Anthony Ndwandwe
Anthony Ndwandwe says he is now truly alive

Anthony Ndwandwe says his life before prison was nothing, that he was "dead alive".

Now, he says, "I have vision and knowledge, my life is becoming new day by day. And I am so happy."

Anthony was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment for rape after he was caught in a sexual relationship with a minor.

He grew up in a poor village in Mozambique where he and his family fought every day to support themselves.

They made a living selling vegetables from their farm, and Anthony had to leave school after grade seven to find a job at the town. "But this was a challenge for me," he says.

He left for South Africa in 2005, hoping he would have more luck there but became entangled in the drinking and stealing culture.

When he was imprisoned there was no one to come and visit him. But he did have one link to his home— a fellow inmate from Mozambique who told him about God and how He works in your life if you accept Him.

"I started going to church with my friend but it was just to please him," Anthony says.

"But when I was in the church I heard the pastor talk about 2 Corinthians chapter 5 verse 17 in the Bible, which says that if anyone is in Christ He is a new creation; 'The old has gone, the new is here'."

Anthony says the verse spoke to him. He wanted his life to change and he wanted to become a new creation, so when the pastor asked if anyone wanted to give their lives to God and receive Him as their Lord and Savior, he stepped forward.

It says in Romans 10 verse 9, "If you declare with your mouth 'Jesus is Lord', and you believe in your heart God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved". Anthony accepted Jesus as Lord of his life that day.

And, just like the pastor had said in quoting the Bible, he became a new creation. "I saw my life changing," he explains. "I started having a vision and getting knowledge that life without Jesus is nothing; you are dead alive.

"I was a criminal but now I am a man of God. I was lost but now I am found by Jesus and I am living a life full of happiness. I am living by Jeremiah 29 verse 11 where God says, 'I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you'.

"God helped me overcome my sin," Anthony continues. "I am now fighting the good fight of faith because now I can hear and feel that God is Emmanuel (God is with me) and indeed He is with me always. And I am so happy.

"God is alive and loves us so much that He gave His only begotten Son to die for us," he says referring to John chapter 3 verse 16.

"God started the good things and He is the one who will finish. Don't give up – just accept Jesus into your life and you will see a difference."

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