Mandla Khumalo, story from death to life
Musa Masinga, Street kid finding refuge
Bongani Lukhele, life on the streets aged 7
Mandla’s story from death to life is a true representation of transformation through God’s love. Formerly known as France Khumalo, this now 13-year-old boy is beyond recognizable since coming to us in 2009. After experiencing some of the most harsh life conditions, Mandla was unable to walk or communicate. This was a result of his step-mother losing hope for him and leaving him outside with the dogs, often times competing for food. His step-mother remained comfortably in the house looking after her own toddler, while Mandla pushed to survive some of the worst weather conditions on his own. Being born with cerebral palsy and due to his lack of care, Mandla’s physical condition deteriorated until he was barely to move. His body was left with his torso clinched to his legs, and his feet being the only way to sit him up to eat.
In August 2009, Mandla’s cruel treatment was exposed in Swaziland's leading newspaper, leaving the nation shocked. It was an absolute miracle that Mandla had survived. Shortly after his story was uncovered, Mandla was brought to Hawane Children’s Home. Mandla was placed in a mothered home where he was given immediate care and by Gods grace, in just 4 short months of being surrounded by love, Mandla learned to walk and he developed his gross motor skills. Mandla no longer has to fight for food and is now feeding himself at a proper table. Authorities had explained that due to his conditions it would be virtually impossible for him to walk or to develop properly. And although, Mandla can’t speak yet he surely knows how to dance and jump. Society’s view of a broken life was rendered void by Gods impenetrable Will. Today it is nearly impossible to find Mandla without a smile.
Ezekial 37:14 “…then you shall know that I, the Lord, has spoken it and performed it,”says the Lord.
"My dad was shot and killed when I was 8-months-old and my mother couldn’t cope so she turned the family to begging on the streets. After an astringent childhood filled with drugs, alcohol and abuse, I was left at the tender age of 13, caring for my newborn nephew. I was a street kid that could hardly take care of myself, let a lone a baby. I slept in abandon building and swindled my way through society, often times placing myself in vulnerable situations. The streets were cruel, hard and very unforgiving. To me this was life and although I craved a new one, there was no escaping the unavoidable pull of the streets. At the age of 17, I found refuge and hope at the Challenge Ministries’ Emafini Men’s Centre. Not having the opportunity to ever attend a day of school, through the Emafini Men’s Centre I learned English. The Bible was the first book I had ever read and I still can’t put it down. At the Centre, people spent time on me, teaching me, mentoring me and encouraging me. I soon realized that I had a future, a great future. I am now in God’s will. He has given me a passion for Him, love for myself and love for others.
Since being at the Centre, my life has never been the same. After completing the program, I went on to obtain 3 diplomas. Eleven years later, I am not only the Worship Pastor at Potter’s Wheel Church but now I am also the Manager of the Emafini Men’s Centre. I never thought that someday God would be able to use me to disciple and lift up others in similar situations. I give all the glory and praise to my Lord and Savior, who has also blessed me with a beautiful wife"
“I was raised by my aunt, who was a traditional healer. My mother was not around and I felt rejected. All I wanted was to be accepted. So at the age of 7, I left home and moved to the streets. I spent four years on the streets- drinking, smoking, begging and stealing. I was simply trying to survive the hard way, until God intervene in 1996. In those days the Lighthouse prepared lunch for kids in Mbabane. But that was not enough, a year later I went to Emafini which is now known as Challenge Ministries’ Emafini Men’s Centre. There I was not only educated, feed and clothed but I was also introduced to Jesus Christ. Although things were wonderful, it was difficult for me because I was use to fighting for what I wanted. After being kicked out three times for my behavior, I was taken back into the program in 2000. At that point, I attended school where I excelled in both primary and secondary education. But soon I started mixing with the wrong crowd and getting into my old habits. I eventually decided to leave the centre and go back to the streets. My new life was worst than ever before. For six months I ran from God but thankfully, on the 1st of May in 2007, I responded to the call of God and restarted the program again.
Graduation Day 2008
I finished the program and graduated in 2008. From there I was trained and equipped under Challenge Ministries’ TCMI Life Skills program. I am now a proud graduate and serving at the Men’s Centre. I know that I am in the right place because I am working with people who are battling with the same problems I did. I am so thankful that God never gives up.”