He may be serving a 25-year prison sentence but Duncan Thompson says he would not change a thing in his life
"Being in prison is hard but if I did not end up in prison I would not have seen what God intended for me," Duncan shares.
He had grown up attending church and was raised in a Christian home but says he was too stubborn to accept Jesus as his personal Lord and Savior.
"I was raised by a single parent, my mom, who did the best she could to provide everything I needed in life because my father passed away when I was only a year old," he adds.
Things seemed to be going well though, as he had a good job and was entrusted to work with millions of Rands each day.
This was a constant temptation for Duncan and he did not heed the Bible's warning in 1 Timothy chapter 6 verse 10, which says, "For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. By craving it, some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows."
Eventually this lust after money became too great and Duncan was arrested and charged for armed robbery against his employer.
"God used people to call me to himself but I always had an excuse and thought I could run from God," Duncan explains.
"I was busy fixing up my life but God was calling me to live my life for Him. I was too stubborn to listen."
Duncan often questioned God about why he got such a lengthy prison sentence.
"God answered me through many people but I did not listen until I had a friendly conversation with a man named Ayoob and understood fully from that day that God has been with me all along," he says.
Ayoob shared with Duncan that God loved him enough to send His only Son Jesus Christ to die on the cross for his sins.
"As I started to count my blessings. I decided to commit my life to God because He loves me," he says.
From that day on Duncan clearly saw the purposes God had for him and says he enjoys every minute of doing God's work.
"I don't think I would change my life or go back to my old ways of drinking alcohol all night or committing myself to unlawful things," he says.
We do not have to be prisoners of our past"I thank God for showing me the light in time and I want to encourage youth and young adults that crime does not pay. We are products of our past but we do not have to be prisoners of it. God's purposes are not limited by your past.
"He turned the murderer Moses into the leader of His chosen nation, a coward named Gideon into a courageous hero, and He can do amazing things in your life too. God specializes in giving people a fresh start."
Duncan also refers to scripture from Mark chapter 10 verse 27 which says, "Jesus looked at them and said 'With man this is impossible but not with God. All things are possible with God."
He is now furthering his educational studies in prison, including courses in electrical and technical studies and business studies.
"I believe God sent me here to prison for a reason and wants to use me for good. I have been in His plans long before I was born and I don't want to go back to my old life because God is good all the time.
"My mom can see and feel the changes in my life, even in the way I speak. I forgave the people who hurt me in the past because unforgiveness just holds you back. Jesus died so I could be forgiven of my sins ... so who am I not to forgive others?"•