Our shack leaked when it rained
For 12 years Welhemina and her family of five did not live in their own home. They rented a room in a backyard for four years and then moved into a shack where they lived for eight years. She had to take her three children to her mother because she did not have enough space to accommodate them.
"My husband was the only one working and his salary was too little to provide for all of us. My mother offered to care for our three children and I was left with our last-born. I used my child’s social grant money to buy food while my husband paid rent," said Welhemina.
Her husband later found a job as security guard and worked for three years before he was retrenched.
"His employer then gave him the money he had saved for him. We were able to buy a plot and build a four-roomed shack because there was not enough money to build a proper house. That was the first time after 12 years that we had a place of our own, even though our shack leaked when it rained," said Welhemina.
She recalls two incidents when the roof of their shack was blown away by strong winds. In the first incident, she was in the shack at night when her husband was out with friends.
"There was heavy rain that was followed by strong wind that blew away the roof of our shack. I was terrified and did not know what to do. My neighbours came and helped me to repair the roof, but I stayed awake the whole night because everything was wet, including our bed. The second time, my husband had gone out to look for a job when a strong wind rose up and again blew the roof off. My neighbours came and helped again. We lived in that same shameful shack for five years because we could not afford a better place," said Welhemina.
Her sister, a member of the Universal Church, invited Welhemina to the church.
"I attended the church services with my sister because I wanted to lead a better life, like my sister who had her own home and never lacked for anything," she said.
She took part in the chains of prayer on Mondays for her finances to improve. "My eldest daughter found a well-paid job after she completed her matric and she was able to build a family house of ten rooms in 2011. We all have our own rooms and live together as a family," said Welhemina.
God continued to bless Welhemina and her family. Her husband started a plumbing business in 2015 and their finances improved.
"I am helping my husband with the family business and we employ eight people who are working in our business. Using my faith and trusting God to change my situation was all I needed to lead a blessed life. My relationship with God is strengthened day by day and I now know that He is my sole provider. The life I live now was a far-fetched dream until I gave my life to God and learned to use my faith to change the story of my life," she said.