My name is CG. I am 24 years old and from Paarl. I grew up with my mother and step-father and I have 2 brothers and 4 sisters. In 2003, when I was 10 years old, child welfare took us away from my mother because they said that she was a prostitute.
At 11 years old I ran away from my foster home as my foster father beat me and they treated me worse than an animal. I was on the streets and started hanging out with street kids. They became my friends. They taught me how to smoke and drink and beg for money and I started breaking into houses and stealing from people. I went back to my mother during this time but my foster parents came with the police to fetch me. I ran away again as I just wanted to be with my mother, but by this time I was out of control and nothing she said could change my ways.
In 2013 the police caught me in possession of stolen goods and made a case against me. I was charged with robbery, housebreaking and theft and on the 02 May 2013 I was sentenced to 8 years imprisonment.
In my first year in prison some of the guys were attending an Alpha Course and I heard them singing. I went to join them as I wanted to know what was going on, and for the first time in my life I felt the Spirit of God - it was an inexplicable feeling of joy that filled my heart and mind! Though I was behind bars I felt completely free - it was the most amazing experience of my life! I made a decision that I wanted to go God’s way for the rest of my life.