After years of being in and out of jail, a former drug dealer has managed to turn his life around and is currently attending a youth convention in Los Angeles, in America, as part of the Victory Outreach programme.
Liam Brown, 22, fell into the murky world of drugs when he was just 14 years old.
He first got in trouble with the law when, in Grade 9, he was charged with robbery and drug possession.
As a minor, he was sent to rehabilitation for two months.
But the next time he was caught with mandrax he was sentenced to 12 months in Pollsmoor prison. He was released on parole after three months and the court sent him to a youth programme in Bonteheuwel for three months.
That was not the end of his run-ins with the law but after his last stint in prison ended in March, Liam has been working to improve his life.
It was thanks to his older brother, Nathan Asher, who is a pastor at Victory Outreach in Westridge, that Liam’s life finally began to change for the better.
Nathan himself had been involved with drugs when he was young, but transformed his life through the Victory Outreach programme.
He wanted to help his brother.
“I understood what space he is in, seeing that our upbringing was similar, so just being there for him was an important part. Showing love for him made a great impact on his life,” said Nathan.
Liam said going with Nathan and his family to the Liberated Christian Church played a big role in him being saved as a Christian.
He said he no longer abuses drugs, consumes alcohol or even smokes cigarettes.
He is now focusing on improving his education and got a scholarship at I-College in Bellville to study project management. He is hoping to finish the course by next year.
Liam is currently staying in a Discipleship Home, which forms part of the Victory Outreach programme.
This home is for saved Christian men who are reforming their lives.
What keeps Liam going is his relationship with his family and God.
“I think of God and I know that God is thinking about me and know that he is watching me,” said Liam.
He is currently in Los Angeles with other youth from Victory Outreach, which is an international organisation.
There they will share their stories on how they overcame their challenges.
Nathan is proud of his brother.
“Right now after seeing the change taking place in his life, I am really proud of how he is allowing God to change his life and also the opportunity that he is taking into going to the USA, and this is an answer to much prayer,” said Nathan.