21 May 2019

A scrapyard was my home

For four months after he arrived in Johannesburg, Dinis lived in an old car that was parked in a scrapyard. He left his home country because he wanted to find a job and help his struggling single mother who had eight other children to provide for.

"We depended on my brother-in-law for financial support and that caused me pain. Together with my two friends, we decided to come to South Africa seeking greener pastures. We did not know anyone in the country and we had no blankets to sleep under. All we had were small bags with our clothes. We spotted a scrapyard that we decided to make our home. We went around town, looking for a job during the day and went back to sleep at the scrapyard in the evening," he said.

A week later, Dinis volunteered to work at a motor spares dealer in exchange for a plate of food.

"I helped with car repairs, something I used to do back home during school holidays. I was given a plate of food and that was enough for me," said Dinis.

The owner of the car repair business decided to employ Dinis after he had worked for food only for four months. He was able to pay rent for a space that he shared with three other men and buy food and clothes for himself. In 2015, Dinis watched the Universal Church's programme Workers Prayer on TV every morning before he went to work.

He prayed with the bishop and was inspired by the testimonies. After watching the programme for three weeks he decided to attend church services because he wanted his life to change. He took part in the Chains of Prayer on Mondays for his finances to improve and on Wednesdays for his spiritual development.

"I was able to save money and moved to a decent place that I did not share with anyone. God made it possible for me to live the kind of life I always dreamed of and build a house for my mother. I now take care of my family back home and I am becoming more mature as I put God first in everything I do," said Dinis.