My life was hell on earth

Kay Liyena
Kay Liyena in traditional dress at a conference held in South Africa in 2015.

Kay Liyena feels that she has lived such hell on earth growing up that she certainly doesn't want to go to hell after she dies.

"I have suffered a lot here on earth, I don't want to suffer again in hell," she says.

"I came from a big family and we were very poor. Sometimes there was no food. Then my parents divorced and the men in my family abused me sexually."

Kay married at 17 but was widowed 10 years later and left to raise three small children.

She became addicted to sexual immorality and alcohol in an effort to find comfort from her past.

Being a Christian is committing to live your life for Jesus, not just to going to churchIn 2006 Kay, in desperation, went with a friend to church. There she heard a message from a Zambian pastor that changed her life.

"The life I was leading was not giving me peace," she confesses. "But the Lord forgave me, a sinner. He helped me to overcome my addictions and to stop lying. I had to go and make peace with some of my family members and forgive them.

"Today I am doing the right things before God."

Matthew 7:21 is important to Kay because it reminds her that not everyone who says "Lord, Lord" is a real Christian who will get into heaven.

"I thought that by committing to church I was born again," Kay says, "but being a Christian is committing to live your life for Jesus, not just to going to church."

She encourages others: "Repent and look to Jesus Christ only, because He is the one who saves. No matter what your circumstances."

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