THATI | South Africa
Thati grew up in South Africa, knowing nothing of God or the Bible.
He lived with his mother in terrible poverty. “I remember days we did not have enough food to eat or even decent clothes to wear. We were so poor.”
His father lived far away and died when Thati was young.
When he was 13, Thati was sent to an “initiation school,” which serves as a rite of passage for boys in traditional Xhosa culture. It was winter, and he was given only two thin blankets. He and the other boys were hungry, prohibited from bathing, and subjected to rituals too disturbing to recount.
One of those included physical mutilation which has taken the lives of many young men.
Thati came home harboring terrible rage and fell in with the wrong people. Angry, he turned to violent crime and was sentenced to 12 years in prison.
And it was there, in prison, where Thati’s real journey began.
He signed up for The Prisoner’s Journey, our six-month course designed to introduce prisoners to the redemptive power of Christ, and for the first time owned his own Bible. His life was transformed.
“For the first time in my life, I was not judged, only loved. I learned about mercy, grace, why Jesus had to die . . . that he was a ransom for me! I learned about unconditional love . . . and I want to live the way Jesus did as He came to be an example.”
Today, Thati has not only been redeemed, his heart is also on fire to spread hope to others.
“I want to go wherever God sends me to carry out my living testimony. It burns inside of me like a candle, day and night. I cannot stop thinking about what Jesus did for me, and when I think of all the other people on this earth, who are still inside prisons and in gangs killing others, being drunk and on drugs, not living but being ‘living dead’ . . . I want to go and tell them what Jesus did for me.”
Thati is focusing on learning everything he can about the Gospel before he is released. Then “I will be ready to fly like an eagle to bring about the message of salvation.”
Help prisoners like Thati find freedom in Christ.