Marwale Maleka was a thief who broke into houses and robbed businesses to support his heavy drug habit. He was addicted to all sorts of drugs, but mainly heroine.
"It was my strong hold," he says. "I tried so many times to leave it and come out clean, but I failed."
Marwale grew up "in a poor family background, where my father was an aggressive person. The father figure that he failed to play in my life affected me a lot."
As a young boy who struggled with the absence of his father, Marwale soon discovered the presence of another Father who loved him and cared for him.
He gave his heart to God when "I was [at a Christian camp] with my family."
But, as Marwale got older, he forgot about living for Jesus and started living for himself. "During grade ten, I dropped out of school," he admits. "I started using drugs by the age of thirteen. By the age of seventeen, I was in jail."
During the next several years, as he was in and out of prison, Marwale says that he thought of God often but "I would always fear that one day I would end up in hell because of all the wrongs I was doing on earth. I always knew that if I did not change my life, I would end up [there]."
When he was twenty-seven, "times were hard and things were difficult" and Marwale found himself in jail again.
As he sat there, wondering if he was too far gone to even pray, he says that he heard these words spoken into the stillness of his jail cell, "Is there anything too hard for the Lord?"
Remembering his commitment to God as a young boy, Marwale realised that he "wanted to spend the rest of my life with Jesus Christ. I decided to change my life and live a life of Christianity. I gave my all to God and surrendered unto Him."
Marwale knew that he was a new person because "I have joy, peace and happiness. I am now enjoying a life free from fear."
After he was released, Marwale went on to get a degree with Team Impact Christian University, is a trainee pastor at his church and is engaged to be married.
Once, when he was reading the Bible, Marwale came across this verse in Genesis 18:14, "Is anything too hard for the Lord?" These were the words that had saved him from a life of sin and destruction.
Marwale says that one of his favourite Bible passages comes from Hebrews 4:12, "For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."
"I have seen God in my life and have experienced His Hand," Marwale smiles. "God has really changed my life and I am so grateful. That is why I can testify that whatever things are impossible with man, with God all things are possible. Today, my prayer is that I will dwell in the House of the Lord for the rest of [eternity].
"Many times I have failed [in life]," he continues, "but the Word of God is the only thing that gives me hope, courage, life, restoration, love, joy, forgiveness, healing, and deliverance. I was working for the kingdom of darkness but today I am serving His Kingdom of light."
To other unbelievers, Marwale proclaims, "There is nothing too hard for the Lord. No matter how bad you think you are, no matter how bad the community think you are, no matter how bad friends and family think you are, God sees a different person in you. God still loves you and He alone can change your life. Accept Christ Jesus as your Lord and personal Saviour. Your life will never be the same again."•