Committing to God brought change
When Zanele came to the Universal Church in 2001, she was unemployed and did not have a place to stay. She wanted God to bless her finances and she only focused on praying for material blessings.
In search of a job, Zanele moved to Johannesburg where she lived with her cousin.
"My cousin was married and she lived in a room with her husband who only came home on weekends because he worked in another town. On weekends I visited my other relatives in order to give my cousin and her husband their privacy," said Zanele.
That same year, her cousin, a member of the Universal Church, invited Zanele to attend services with her.
"I only prayed for a job so that I could get my own place to stay. I never committed my life to God and I made fun of the pastors and criticised everything they said when I was with my friends," said Zanele.
After three years in the church, Zanele found a job and that same month she stopped attending the services.
"I did not see the need for attending the services because I got the job, something I wanted. I dated a man who later fathered my two children and I moved in with him. However, he emotionally abused me. He told me that I was not good enough and I would not make it in life. He was also jealous and did not want me to go out with my friends," said Zanele.
It was when everything was not going well in her relationship that Zanele remembered all the teachings of the church that she used to make fun of.
“I knew that it was only God who could heal my broken heart, and I returned to Him. I started attending church services and decided to obey the word of God. I knew that cohabitating was not good for my spiritual life.
I surrendered my life to God and forgave my boyfriend. I felt peace and joy inside, something I never felt before. I moved out of my boyfriend's place because I wanted to do the right thing before God. I was able to take care of my children and have my own place to stay. I developed a desire to speak about God to other people. My faith was strengthened and I became mature in my spiritual life," said Zanele.