Thembinkosi Dlamini, known as Gub'za, grew up in Manzini, Swaziland, where he hung out with a bad crowd at school and became addicted to alcohol and drugs.
His addiction controlled his life, causing him to steal, lie to his parents, sell even his own clothes and eventually get arrested for theft.
"Even when I was working I would spend all my money within two days of being paid and have nothing to give to my family to help with expenses. I would have to borrow to help them, but I couldn't pay my debts and was always running from the police because I broke the law," he confesses.
Although his family did not believe in Jesus, Gub'za had heard the story of Christ's sinless life and death on the cross during Religious Instruction classes at school. He also remembers people coming to him in bars and warning him that the way he was living was headed for disaster. They used to play gospel songs in the bars too, which gave Gub'za something to think about.
"I also had a vision," Gub'za recalls. "I saw myself preaching to others about the effects of drugs and alcohol and about the love God has for people."
Then one day he was visiting his grandmother in her rural village where there was a Christian meeting being held. "As drunk as I was, I just decided to attend," Gub'za says. "I responded to the altar call from the pastor that day because I wanted to leave bad things behind and do the right things. I wanted Jesus to use me – to be His friend and servant."
satisfied”Since then many aspects of Gub'za's life have changed: he has been filled with peace; his body is not so thin and unhealthy because he is free of his addictions; he is no longer filled with fear and under attack by demons; and he has learnt to be satisfied with what he has.
"I returned some of the money I stole and asked for forgiveness from those I wronged," he admits. "I have also been reconciled with my family. All seven of them have come to trust in Jesus through my transformation. And I have changed my friends."
Gub'za finds comfort in the Bible verse in Matthew 11:28 where Jesus says "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."
"When we have struggles and challenges in life, we think we have to deal with them, instead we should give them up to Christ to handle," Gub'za reminds us. "He will deliver us from all our troubles like Psalm 34:19 says; 'Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.' Our heavy issues are just light issues to Jesus." •