Posts Tagged ‘drugs’

Prayer ends drug misery

This is an interview I done with: Christian Business Directory while I was in Tanzania.This is my story…

 

Prayer ends drug misery

A genuine desire for transformation led Brent to the answer

The morning I took this pic I was high on meth

In a neighbourhood where youth believed joining a gang was part of life, Brent Williams fell into this trap which led to drug dealing and violence, before a simple prayer rescued him from suicide.

Previously known as a kind person, he joined a gang and was soon addicted to methamphetamine and acting entirely out of character.

“I started to sell drugs to anybody to support my habit, as well as make a name for myself,” Brent says.

“The drugs I was using started to affect me mentally and that is when I realised that I needed help. But no matter how hard I tried I could not kick the habit.

“I believe that without a doubt that every drug addict out there is screaming out for help. Like them, I could not imagine a life without drugs.

“It just seemed impossible to stop. I believed that I would die a drug addict.”

Deep down he knew he had to kick the habit, as it was affecting loved ones around him.

“My parents reached out to me many times, but I rejected their efforts. I thought they were judging me when in fact all they wanted was to have their son back.”

After one three day drug binge, Brent came home one night so highly under the influence of drugs that he thought his parents were trying to kill him.

Retrieving a long kitchen knife, he nearly stabbed his own mother before something told him to stop.

“The blade literally stopped in front of her face,” Brent recalls. “I held them hostage for about four hours until the police finally arrived.”

Though his parents did not press charges, Brent continued binging on drugs until he was so tired of the never-ending need for money that he felt suicidal.

After announcing to his mother that he was going to kill himself that night, she suggested, “Why don’t you ask Jesus to help you in your situation?”

Brent remembers screaming back, “What can Jesus do for me!? How is He going to help me!?”

Then out of desperation, he thought to himself, “Brent, what do you have to lose?”

Having nowhere else to turn, he knelt by his bed and prayed, “Jesus, if you are real then You will help me with this drug problem I am battling with.”

After this prayer, Brent remembers: “I broke down in tears and wept like I have never wept before.

“At that moment it felt like all desire to ever want to do drugs again vanished!”

His mother asked someone from her church to come. He prayed with Brent and introduced him to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

“Even though I did not know Jesus I knew that it was the right thing to do,” Brent explains. “Here I was putting my trust in someone I could not see and knew nothing about. But it felt right.”

For six months, Brent studied the Bible, learning how Jesus had given His life for him and how to live at a Christian.

Brent then began reaching out to those still caught in the lifestyle he had introduced them to.

Me training my mom during one of the Social Media classes I teach at RLabs

“I felt I had betrayed these people, so Bradley, an ex-gang boss, and I went to some of the friends we did drugs with and invited them to a later meeting at a suitable time.

“They expected a prayer meeting, but instead we gently shared with these seven friends that there is a way out of this lifestyle. Since they personally knew us and how bad we were, we said that the changed lives of Bradley and I are testament to what God can do.

“By God’s grace, that evening all of them committed their lives to Christ, trusting in Him as Lord and Saviour.”

These nine men now serve Jesus Christ together doing intensive work in their community.

“This is our way of giving back to society,” Brent says. “I have realised that I may not be able to win over everyone that I have introduced drugs to, but there are so many others that I can reach out to.”

One of Brent’s first prayers was to ask God to restore his relationship with his family. He also immediately went to those he had misled, hurt and sold drugs to and asked for their forgiveness.

“My relationship with my parents has been restored,” Brent enthuses. “We now are once again a happy family and through God’s Word I have learnt the importance of honouring my parents.”

Despite what many believe, some troubles of life remain after becoming a Christian, Brent says.

“The difference is that now I have a Saviour I can ask for help to face them. In the past, I would turn to drugs and try to forget about them.

“Now, I go on my knees and pray, and I have a mentor who I can talk with.

“I am learning and growing spiritually each and every day. I think the important thing is not to condemn yourself when you fail but rather to immediately repent and learn from the mistakes that you have made.”

Brent is engaged to be married to Jessica in December 2012.

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Another Journey” – A blog post by Gary Saaiman

This is a post written by my dear brother Gary Saaiman .I am amazed at how he has written this story and the revelation he got just by seeing us from behind.So encouraging.Go ahead and read for yourself….

Image

Its Saturday at about 6:30 am and I’m woken by the sound of Brent and Bradley  talking as they walk through my room making their way to the airport. I`m so tired as I couldn’t even keep my eyes open and I wanted to shout and greet them but they moved so fast and the only thing I could see was their backs for a couple of seconds.

Well to you it might have been just a normal sight but It was something supernatural to me. A couple of years back the same scene would had a different outcome. They would probably be planning where their next fix was going to come from something, illegal that would have been no benefit to our community, it definitely would not have had a good effect.

This was a different sight though, same picture but different journey. They were on their way to the airport this time going to Nigeria to set up a Rlabs hub. Rlabs Nigeria will be a difference that people have been crying out for, for years. Its a movement of hope where communities are reconstructed using technology. No matter how devstated the lives of people are, how hopeless they may seem, how depressed they might feel.

You asked these two gentlemen their life stories and you weigh what they are now and I promise you a joy, a hope, an excitement will be birthed inside of you fuelling your dreams, encouraging you to allow GOD to carry you through your fires and then polishing you to go and shine for HIM, in your home to your family, in your street, in your neighbourhood, in your community, in your city, country or even the world.

  It really doesn’t matter where you go, taking hope to the hopeless is all that matters.

That was the glimpse I got in 5 seconds, imagine I had more time :-)

For more stories of hope go to www.Rlabs.org

Reconstructing the world one community at a time

Rlabs: Internet Access for All

As a drug user, it was easier for Brent Williams to steal a computer than to actually operate one. But when he kicked the habit and learned how to use computers, he experienced the empowerment that comes from having access to the Internet. That is when he established Rlabs, a community center that teaches computer skills in the deprived area in Cape Town where he used to shoot drugs.

Drug Advice and Support Services. #RLABS

This last week has been very fruitful in terms of our online counselling service that RLABS are currently running. We have put our counselling contact on Mxit and had had so many people adding the contact.

Here are the stats for the week:

21 June 2010

Conversations   : 385

Messages:  2867

22 June 2010

Conversations:  248

Messages: 1157

23 June 2010

Conversations: 354

Messages: 2583

24 June 2010

Conversation: 2986

Messages: 1047

During this week we had some serious cases ranging from rape, child abuse and also substance abuse. These are but some of the cases our counsellors were faced with. This service started out by providing advice for drug addicts at their finger tips, but we have gotten so much other cases and we see where best can assist. We have a committed team that does this because they love to help people and do not get paid for their time they offer. Thank you so much everyone for their time and sacrifice. It is definitely paying off and so many been helped through your sacrifice.

God bless

Rlabs Supports Substance Abuse Week

In preparation for substance abuse week (which is this week) , Rlabs has teamed up with Mxit to bring drug advice and support to the tip of Mxit subscribers fingers. 28,000 plus subscribers added the Angel Information Service .Yesterday the team had to be ready as  they did not know how many people would come online seeking advice and support with their substance abuse problems.  Yesterday in a  3 hour service session the following statistics were achieved with 8 counsellors:

  • Number of Conversations: 385
  • Number of Messages: 2867
  • Average Conversation per counsellor 44

The technology we are using to manage the conversations is JamiiX

Source: www.kingross.co.za

Two cops critically injured on my door step

This morning Craig, Clinton and myself headed off to a meeting at Marlon Parker’s house with the director of the movie: “I Now Pronounce You Black and White”. Our meeting was however canceled and then we decided to head back to the RLABS office.

This is the horrific scene we came across

On our way back to the office we came across a horrific scene. We saw lots of police vans and cops standing in lower Klipfontein road. We approached what seemed to be a crime scene. As we did further investigation we discovered that two police officers has been shot by one of the new and upcoming gangs, The Playboys. I have heard previously by my ex gang members, that this gang is trying to make a statement and they should not be messed with.

Well they certainly got tongues wagging. The members in this particular gang are very young and are growing in numbers by the day. What has our country come to, when not even our cops are safe? Two members of the PlayBoy gang were in the park in the early hours of the morning and when the cops approached them they opened fire on them, critically injuring  them. This took place about 5 minutes drive from where I live.

the two muredered cops colleagues on the murder scene

The two cops colleagues on the crime scene

Thank God that I am no longer caught up in this madness but I am however praying without ceasing for those still caught up in gangstersim and violence. My heart goes out  to the families of the cops who was critically injured in this incident. I pray that the peace of God will be with them.

Drug Advice and Support Session In Progress

DSCN0375 by you.
Drug Advice and Support (DAS) has now been running for more than 2 years. Over a million messages has already been sent on and over our service. On DAS we offer advice to people abusing and people affected by drugs. Here are some of the counselors hard at work and offering their time to help others.
Salute  to all the guys and to their families that allow and release these men do this work and help others that are destitute out there.
All glory to God for giving us the ability to do this work.It is only by His grace.

Special memories at Rhodes High

So we have been to two schools in last week, and one of the schools was Rhodes High in Cape Town. The length of the periods/classes at Rhodes High was different to those of the other schools we have been to previously. At the other schools the periods were normally 30 minutes (half hour) or 45 minutes long. At Rhodes High however the periods were an hour long and they only have one interval (break) that is an hour long as well.

Felowshipping during lunch break

So there I was thinking: “What am I suppose to do in that hour?” Ricky Johnson came up to me and told me that they usually have SU (Scripture Union) during break with some learners and asked if the guys  (RLABS team) would like to join and share our stories. We naturally jumped at the opportunity and accepted the invitation.

I really admire these learners as they could be anywhere on the school with their friends doing who knows what, but they opted to come and worship God in this time. I really enjoyed this session and speaking of what Jesus did and is still doing in my life. Thank you guys for your devotion and choosing to serve Christ in a time such as this. I know and see the many choices these kids have to face and make on a daily basis and this is one of those good choices these kids have made.

Looking forward to going back there and hearing how things are going there.

Thank you Lord for the opportunity.

RLABS at Kylemore and Rhodes High schools

This week we went out to schools in the Western Cape again to do MoCo presentations and to give the students the contact to add to their mobile phones for our online counselling. We did two schools this week; one in Stellenbosh and one in the Athlone area. The school in Stellensbosh was Kylemore High and the school in Athlone was Rhodes High. We however did not do an assembly but individual classes this time round.

At Kylemore High we did 9 classes of about 25 students in each class and at Rhodes High 4 classes with about 20 students in each class. I was not feeling too well this week and it was a bit taxing on my body but God was faithful and carried me through. I was assisted by Clinton Liederman , Terence Hendricks and as I call him “The Master of presentations” Reagen Allen. Having this awesome team with me just made things so much easier.

Reagen took the bull by the horns and flowed with the MoCo presentation. He brought a profound dynamic with his awesome sense of humour. Lots more kids added the contact and lots came online seeking help with various issues they face on a daily basis.

Thank you Lord for everything that you are doing in our midst and we give honour and glory to You FatherJ

Newspaper article/Celeb For Jesus

So there just one more thing in the Celeb for Jesus journey.  On Saturday the 16th January 2010 RLABS hosted a Social Media Surgery in Vangate Mall which was managed by Craig Ross, Innovations Manager for RLABS. This was the first one of its kind that was done in Africa and  in  an open space like this.

News paper article covering the RLABS event

I was busy creating someone a gmail account when I saw Craig speaking to someone; unknowingly that it was a reporter from our local newspaper. She was interviewing Craig and finding out more as to what was happening and what the buzz was about.

On the Wednesday the article appeared in the papers, unknowingly to me and we  went out and  got a copy of the paper. So there I was signing up someone onto gmail, the once drug dealer and drug addict. So now people could see the person they once new (the addict) and the person God has changed me into.

But the glory goes to God and never would I have thought that all this would happen in just over the 2 years I have been serving Christ. I am enjoying this journey with Christ 100% and I know there are lots more to come.

Jesus I love you and treasure all that you are doing in my life.

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