03 July 2018

Revenge was all I wanted

For 11 years Thembi battled with anger and an unwillingness to forgive after she was raped twice in one year.

She had only been in Botswana for a few months when she was raped by a construction worker at the house where she did domestic work.

"When I came back from the shops, I found a man in my room. I tried to fight him off, but he overpowered me and forced himself on me. He told me that he had done it because he loved me and wanted us to start a relationship," she said. 

Thembi could not share her ordeal with anyone because her family lived in Zimbabwe. She kept the secret which haunted her and made her want revenge. The man who raped Thembi continued asking her to have a relationship with him.

"I did not love him but I wanted to hurt him. I moved in with him, but I refused to cook or do his laundry. I spent his money and sent it home to my mother who looked after my two children. I became tired of living a life of pretence and left him after less than a year," said Thembi.

She started a new job and worked for a family, but was raped by her boss, a married man. Fearing that he would do it again, she left. Trying to forget her inner pain, Thembi made friends with people who drank and went to nightclubs. Her life only changed after she attended a service at the Universal Church in 2007.

"I took part in the chains of prayer on Wednesdays to pray for inner healing and on Fridays for my deliverance from alcohol. I stopped drinking alcohol because I understood it did nothing for my problem. I sought God's presence and committed my life to Him. His presence gave me a forgiving heart, something I did not have for six years. Forgiveness freed me from anger and bitterness. I now have inner peace and have healed from the trauma of abuse. I found a permanent job. I now have peace as well as freedom from anger, bitterness and fear," said Thembi.

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