Stealing cost me my job
An excessive intake of alcohol left Mawethu deeply in debt and caused him to do things he later regretted. His drinking problem started after he found his first job at the age of 23.
"I lived with my parents and the only responsibility I had was to buy food. I hung around with people who introduced me to alcohol. Drinking became a form of entertainment for me. On my pay day, I would head straight to the night club after work and drink the whole night," said Mawethu
He sometimes did not have money to go to work after he spent his salary on alcohol. "I borrowed money from loan sharks to go to work. I could not save money or buy things I needed because every month-end I had to pay loan sharks and feed my addiction," he said.
Because of his need for alcohol, Mawethu started stealing money from colleagues.
"I broke into their lockers at work and stole their money because I needed to buy myself alcohol. I continued stealing until one day I was caught in the act. We had a meeting at work and I decided to stay behind in order to steal. One of my colleagues came back and caught me stealing from someone’s locker. Fearing that they were going to call the police to arrest me, I ran back home instead of attending the meeting.
The following day my manager called me in for a hearing. In the hearing my manager told me that the company intended to lay charges of theft against me. Afraid of going to jail, I pleaded with my manager and offered to resign from my job," said Mawethu.
For two years Mawethu battled to secure a job. One day in 2009, on his way back from job-hunting, Mawethu walked past the Universal Church and a pastor invited him in for a prayer.
"After receiving a prayer, I had new hope. I continued coming to the church every day. I realised that I lost my job because of my addiction and I asked God to deliver me from alcohol addiction. After a month in the church I stopped drinking," said Mawethu.
The following year he found a job. "I then spent my money wisely because I was no longer drinking and going to night clubs. I was able to move into my own place and pay off my debts. This year I resigned from work and I started selling curtains because I wanted to have my own company. I made a good profit," he said.
In the church, Mawethu learned having a solid relationship with God was more important that acquiring material blessings.
"I attended Wednesday services for my spiritual development. I learned that it was God's plan for me to prosper, but salvation was more important than material blessings. I sought God's presence and I received the assurance of my salvation. I have a close relationship with God and I live my life to please Him," said Mawethu.