“Life was easy when I was growing up, but it changed when my mother passed away."
David Diskoti Molefe was arrested for murder in 2008 and sentenced to 15 years in prison.
His mother, who took care of him when his father was absent, was "the most important person in my life". After her death David dropped out of school at 14 to join a gang and a life of hatred, stealing, and murder followed.
He enjoyed fighting, and says forgiveness was "not a part of my life". This is what ultimately got him behind bars.
"I wanted to help my uncle from four guys who were fighting him and ended up killing one of them," he explains, and this behavior continued in prison where he says he fought and hated those who were not part of his gang.
All this time, David was plagued by a feeling he was not living life to its fullest potential. And now he was to spend the next 15 years in jail, he didn't see how he could.
When a pastor first came into jail from outside to preach to the prisoners, David was sceptical any of what he taught would be compatible with his gang life.
"It seems foolish to believe in God when you are part of a group that is involved in stabbing other gang members," he says.
But what he heard about God wasn't what he thought. "I heard that Jesus didn't come to judge the world, but to save it," he recalls.
"Then I started to read the Bible and that is when I started to offer my [life] to God as a living sacrifice."
David says he realized he needed Jesus in his life. As he read more of the Bible passages like John chapter 10 verse 10, where Jesus says, "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full", made him want to search for God.
And Jeremiah 29 verse 11, in which the Lord tells us he has plans not to harm us but to prosper us, to give us a hope and a future, "made me want to see His plans for my life".
"Jesus says he wants to give us not just life, but a full life," David says, "that made me realize I was not living a full life, and needed to change my life, and allow Jesus to live in me.
"I realized I am a stranger in this world and young, and without God I am nothing and I am lost. I needed God to help me live a clean life in this world," he says.
So David made a personal decision in his heart to become a Christian and live for God.
Now he says he wants to preach the good news to others who are also lost, and share with them how his decision has transformed his life.
"I left the gang," he says, "And I am no longer the same person. When you are in Christ, you become a new person."
David might not have it easy. But as a new person, a new creation, he finally feels he has been given a full life.•