For some time the youth services started to sound frustrating. They had a different lingo, prayed a lot, spoke a lot and definitely made me feel like a small boy. I missed children’s church where I was the dominant student, where I had almost the answers and where I got the lead roles in all plays. Youth was brimstone and fire and these youth leaders had no time to take it slowly for a little boy.

Then I met my soul brother, Nhlonipho Zondo, a son to my uncle, and three years my senior. He became the brother that I never had and needless to say, when the real encounter struck, we were together.

19th June 1989 was the afternoon that saw Brother Thomas Nxumalo preach on the need for a Saviour. He was one the tallest men that I knew. I always felt intimidated in his presence despite that he was a cousin. There had always been some enigmatic aura around him which even our parents could not put a finger to. I was later to understand many years later that the Christ in him was the cause.

An altar call saw some five people at the front. I and Nhlonipho were amongst those, reciting a sinner’s prayer and being laid hands and being told to believe with our hearts and to confess with our mouths that Jesus is Lord (Romans 10 v 9).

I heard that day that there is great joy in Heaven when one sinner is won to Christ and that we now had the right to approach the Heavenly throne and cite Abba father(.

No fire had fallen down; I had not grown an extra inch. I was still physically the same. But something had happened. A seed had been planted in me.

I had had an encounter with Christ. A personal encounter.

I had been saved.

And the walk with Christ began. (To be continued)

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