Curious to experience more of the world, Christine left the church and later landed up on the streets.
“I was a baby when my mother attended the Universal Church and I attended the Sunday school and then the Youth Group meetings regularly. When I reached my teen years I became curious and I wanted experience more of the world. In high school, I made friends who introduced me to alcohol. We bunked classes and went to parties during school hours. My bad behaviour worsened after I had a tattoo and pierced my tongue. I made sure I hid them from my mother,” said Christine.
Her mischievous behaviour caught up with her after she and her friends were caught drinking alcohol on the school premises. “Our parents were called in and they saw everything — us carrying bottles of alcohol and later drinking. My mother was angry and disappointed because she had no idea that I drank. I got a hiding when I got home that day. That however did not stop me from drinking as it had become part of me and I enjoyed being with my friends and getting drunk,” she said.
Tired of being reprimanded by her parents, Christine ran away from home and lived on the streets with a friend at the age of 14. They later started using drugs. “We robbed people of their handbags and cell phones in order to feed our addiction. One day, we broke into a house and stole R4,200. Someone saw us leaving the house and told the owner, who tracked us down. To hide, I went back home after a month of living on the streets. I attended the church services because I feared that the owner of the money we stole was going to ﬁnd my home and hurt me.
My friend was later caught and she told the owner of the money that I was in the church. He called the police who found me at church and gave me a warning because I was still a minor. That compelled me to change my ways. I committed to God and I was able to stop alcohol and drugs. I also left my old friends. Life has taught me that a mother’s advice is always the best. Had I listened to her and remained in church, I would not have missed school. I now consult her before I take any decision because I grew to trust her and that has improved our relationship. I am however grateful to God for changing my life before it was too late. I went back to school after missing a year. I now appreciate my family more than ever because I have experienced the life of being homeless,” she said.
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