Recovering drug addicts are using their experiences to minister and encourage youth to stay away from substance abuse and understand the word of God.
Six men graduated from Victory Outreach Recovery Home in Diemersdal Street, in Westridge, on Sunday December 17.
The home, a ministry of Victory Outreach Church, provides a residential Christian environment for men, where they are given a biblical foundation to better understand the word of God.
Church services are held at West End Primary School, in Merrydale Avenue, Lentegeur, every Sunday at 9am and 5pm.
They have spent the last nine months reclaiming, redeeming and restoring their lives, which they had destroyed with the use of drugs or alcohol.
Victory Outreach Recovery home director, Jewaan Thuynsma, who is also a recovering addict, said this was achieved by establishing three essential values – a commitment to Christ, restoring their families and a positive work ethic.
They pray for themselves and each other, they read from the bible and are taught what God wants from them.
They also work in the community by painting, maintaining and fixing up houses.
He said they want to give back to the community by going into places no one wants to go, such as drug houses, shebeens and the streets to pray for people and tell them about the word of God.
Mr Thuynsma said no matter what the problem, people should reach out for help. He said at first he could not believe that, through prayer alone, he had been able to remain sober.
“But here I am, a living testimony,” he said.
Graduate Marco de Vries, 40, from Lentegeur, said the same.
“At first I would not believe, I could not cope with all this ‘God stuff’,” he said.
After being at the home for the past nine months Mr de Vries will embark on a new chapter as a member of the home’s staff.
He lost his job and squandered around R65 000 on drugs over four months.
This was money he had inherited from his mother.
Mr De Vries lived in a gangster’s house and would lure primary school children with clothes and money to join the gang and sell drugs.
“I reached a point, where I wanted to change my life and realised that the gangsters are not my brothers,” he said.
Ashley Linders, 34, from Lentegeur, said he had also lived in the merchant’s house and that when his teenage daughter and her friends had seen him, at his lowest, he had decided to make a change.
With his wife’s support, he started attending church and got a place at the home. Mr Linders’ family had given him an ultimatum to “come right” or lose them.
Donors and anyone who would like more information about the recovery home can call Mr Thuynsma on 084 809 8309.