Former robber admits his life was once “a misery”
Trapped in a lifestyle of bad habits including drinking, partying, women and robbery, Siya Jiyane says, "My life was a misery. I never cared about the prisoner next to me – I only cared about my interests because I had no love inside me."
Inevitably, his stealing offences resulted in a prison sentence. One day in 2007 he was in his cell and heard other inmates singing, because the church hall was near his cell.
"They were singing, 'I surrender all unto Jesus blessed Saviour.' I decided go into the church, where I got so emotional that I even cried. A pastor from outside the prison spoke a message from the Bible that I couldn't resist. He said God wants to save somebody today, 'Please, if it is you, come forward.' I realised that God was speaking to me as I was the only person who wanted to be saved at that service."
The pastor led Siya in a sinner's prayer.
"I prayed, 'Lord Jesus, thankyou today that I accept you as my Lord and Saviour. I believe that you came on earth and died for me and resurrected on the third day, and now You are seated at the right hand of the Father. Cleanse me and forgive me for all my sins. The Bible says that if I believe that Jesus Christ died and rose again I will be saved. Please write my name in Your book of life. I thank you that now I have your Holy Spirit and you are now my personal Saviour. Father I thank you in the powerful and precious Name of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, Amen.'
Through this genuine prayer to surrender his life to Jesus, Siya explains, "I was saved and started to attend all church activities up until I grew up in the Lord with the guidance of the pastors."
The changes in Siya's life are many, as he says, "I only live by the guidance of the Holy Spirit."
"I am full of the love of the Christ that He demonstrated on the cross when dying for me while I was a sinner. Now I see the importance of other people next to me and I have no more grudges. I can forgive because even Christ forgave me."
Siya says he is now only interested in pleasing God because God accomplished the first and greatest miracle in his life.
"That miracle was when I was reborn in my spirit and became a new creation. I know that when I need something I have a Father who is able to provide for me because the Bible says, 'All things are possible to those who believe (in Him)'. Now my life has completely changed as I now see things the way God see them."
Now, with a few months left in his 15 year sentence, Siya says "I keep on praying and worshipping God and will forever."
"God has been wonderful to me. At first it was very difficult to obey God, but He was there for me when I even thought of going back to my old life. He carried me through by the power of His Holy Spirit, as He says in His Word that He will not permit me to be tempted beyond my capacity. So I give glory to Him, because I am still standing in His strength."•