One young man staying with World Challenge’s partners in Eswatini shares his journey to freedom from the pain and addiction that haunted him for many years.
Simiso grew up in a small village in the Shiselweni region of Eswatini. His mother raised him alone, though she told him who his father was, and he was able to get to know some of his father’s family.
He began drinking alcohol and experimenting with drugs as young as 15 years old, but he felt that he had a handle on these substances. He was in control, not them.
When he turned 23, however, he received some shocking news. “I’d been given a surname that was not mine because my mother thought that man was my biological father, but it was revealed that he was not.
“When I discovered that my real identity was not what I grew up believing it to be, I started to drown myself in drugs and alcohol, hoping to get comfort and numb the stress of having to deal with the whole identity change. I could not really bear the fact that I needed to switch surnames. I could not bear the whole idea of having to build new relationships with another family.”
Reaching Out for Help
The drug usage began to take over more and more of Simiso’s life. Even though he tried to tell himself that he was still in control, he knew better in his heart of hearts.
Finally, he admitted how bad things had become in his private life to his grandmother and grandfather. “After consulting with my grandparents, I realized that I needed professional help. My grandparents then suggested that I visit the Hawane Men’s Rehabilitation Centre to seek help with my situation.
“Upon admission at the Hawane Men’s Center in October 2019, I was a broken person with anger issues, bitterness, anxiety and depression, feeling like I belonged nowhere. For quite some time I had masked all of my issues with the covering of drugs and alcohol, but the men’s center helped me realize that all of that was not solving my issues. Instead, it kept me in the hold of addiction.”
The center teaches all of its participants about God and Christ’s sacrifice, walking them through the Bible’s story of redemption and transformation.
“At the center, I was taught about Jesus, and I totally surrendered my life to him in the third month of the program,” Simiso explained. “At this point, I have been able to deal with most of my issues, though I am still working on some. I have learned that there is more to life than just my physical problems. I know that with the grace of the Lord I will soon be at the point that God wants me to be.”
Good Plans That God Has
Now that he is healing, Simiso has begun looking toward the future with new eyes and more hope for what is to come. “I now know about the unconditional love of God, and I am holding to the hope for a better future because the Word of God says that he has good plans for me.
“My aim going forward is to grow in the Lord and become the best and most God-fearing father I can be for my children and teach them the values of God, which I have been taught at the center. I am very grateful for the center, and my prayer is that God will help the ministry grow and help many more people who are lost like I was to find God and freedom from the oppression of drugs, alcohol and other life controlling habits.
“I never thought that I would ever experience joy, happiness, peace and freedom in my life, but now I know I have something to live for. Every day counts since I received Christ.”