Almost got arrested
Reatile started smoking dagga and drinking alcohol from grade 10. He eventually became addicted and lied to his parents in order to get money for his habits.
"One of my friends, who was working at that time, bought a bag of dagga which he kept in his room and I smoked there even when he was at work. I sometimes lied to my parents and asked for money for school trips which were not happening in order to get money to buy alcohol and dagga," said Reatile.
His addiction not only made him a liar, but he also started stealing valuables to sell.
"When I did not find dagga at my friend's place, the cravings were so bad that I had to do anything to get it. I stole his laptop, sold it and bought myself dagga. My friend never suspected me because he trusted me," he said.
Reatile continued with his addiction and theft. Once he was caught stealing three slabs of chocolate at a supermarket.
"The owner of the shop called the police who took me with them. I don't know what was in their minds, but they dropped me in the open veld and left me there to walk back home. That was such a relief because I feared prison and never wanted to go there," said Reatile.
On his way home, he was invited to the Universal Church. He attended a service because he wanted to change his life.
"I was advised to attend Addiction Cleansing Therapy services and asked God to deliver me from my addiction. It took me two years to quit dagga and alcohol. My friends stopped visiting me because we had nothing in common any more.
I stopped lying to my mother and stealing from other people because I understood it was wrong. I understood the importance of being faithful to God and with everyone around me. I am free of a life of guilt for being caught stealing. I am a changed young man who is faithful to God and I take care of my body because it is the temple of the Holy Spirit," said Reatile.