When all hope was gone
Johana had to live with the consequences of the wrong choices she made in her teen years. She was a mother to two children at the age of 21, had dropped out of school when she was in grade 10 and then sold doilies to provide for her children.
"I had my first child when I was 18 years old and I had to drop out of school to care for the baby. Two years later, when I was preparing to go back to school, I found out that I was pregnant again. That was a final blow for me and my parents were very angry with me. They wanted to send me to live at my boyfriend’s house but he also didn’t want anything to do with me and the children," she said.
After she gave birth to her second child, Johana made doilies and sold them in Johannesburg central in order to provide for her children.
"I felt like my life was over and I lost hope of having a bright future. I regretted having children at such a young age and feared the consequences of my wrong actions. I lost self-love and didn’t have a desire to bath. I felt ugly and unloved," she said.
In 1996, Johana saw a pamphlet from the Universal Church.
"I read through the different problems that were written about in the pamphlet and realised that finances were also there. I thought financial freedom was all I needed, but as I continued attending the services, I realised that I needed God.
I committed my life and I gradually developed peace of mind. I was able to forgive myself for the wrong choices I had made. I was encouraged to improve my life and I registered at a night school to complete my matric.
I then found a job and continued attending the services on Thursdays for peace in my family. My relationship with my parents improved and they were finally able to forgive me. I learned to love myself again, and took care of my appearance. Now I work hard to lead a financially blessed life for myself and my children" she said.