When I was arrested I lost all hope of becoming a law abiding citizen as I knew the implications of having a criminal record. My life was over, or so I thought; actually, my life was only beginning. Little did I know that God had His own plan for my life, and in that moment in my life when I was bereft of hope, He came and saved my life through Christ Jesus my Lord and Saviour. It's only by His grace that I am where I am today.  

My experience in prison wasn't easy, but because of the Lords love who grants mercy to whomever He wants, I was privileged to study further and achieve my matric in prison with flying colors. Just when I thought I was finished with studying, the Message Trust brought a Job Readiness course into prison, so I joined up to bolster my CV; however, when I enrolled, I experienced God's favour in an incredible and awesome way. As we extensively explored the cause of the problem in our lives, I was truly blessed to learn that everything that has ever happened in my life had grown from a root that could be pulled out to give way for new seed to be sowed into my life. Through this course I developed a good relationship with the facilitators of the programme. They really demonstrated the love of God in our lives. 

In 2015 The Message Trust introduced a new course for us called the Message Enterprise Programme, which dealt with Entrepreneurial skills, Life skills and Spiritual development. It is a year-long course which required me to leave my section and join in a room with other 26 guys with whom I didn't (yet!) have a relationship or brotherhood with. It was hard at first but when we grasped the vision we saw how powerful the programme was. Not only that but the fact that there is aftercare for when you get out of prison was a bonus because it showed me this organisation was really invested in my long-term development beyond prison. Today I'm on the outside and I still work with The Message Trust SA as a Social Media and Creative Intern and I'm growing in work that I love doing. All thanks to The Message Trust SA. 

Written by: Siseko Ngwayishe

Social Media and Creative Intern