What I feared happened
Fortunate always lived in fear of being thrown out of the shack where they stayed because they battled to pay their monthly rental. She lived with her boyfriend and their three-month-old daughter. Her boyfriend had temporary jobs, but she was unemployed.
"It was difficult for us, more so because we had a baby. I used cloth nappies because I could not afford disposable nappies. I felt embarrassed to hang them out because most people no longer use them. We ate pap and potato gravy every day. I made mashed potatoes for my baby. We battled to pay rent for the shack. I feared our landlord would one day grow tired of us not paying rent and chase us out," she said.
What Fortunate feared happened when her boyfriend failed to pay rent for three months.
"We were chased out. We went knocking from door to door in search of another place and we were fortunate not to have to sleep on the street. We found a shack where they agreed we could pay at the end of that week," she said.
In 2009 her boyfriend was invited to the Universal Church.
"I attended the services with him because we were tired of renting and living in fear of being humiliated and chased out of the places we rented. That same week my boyfriend found a job that paid him weekly. We then moved to a better place and our lives improved," said Fortunate.
As they continued attending the church services, Fortunate and her boyfriend understood it was wrong to live together before they were married.
After five months in the church they registered their marriage at Home Affairs and were then blessed in the church.
"My husband found a well-paid job. We now have four children and are able to take care of them. I no longer live in fear of being evicted for not paying rent. When the Ark of the Covenant arrived in Johannesburg in January this year, I had an opportunity to touch it and believed that my spiritual life was not going to remain the same because the Ark of the Covenant represented God's presence. From that day I had the assurance that the presence of God is with me. That strengthened my faith and I now attend Wednesday services, something I did not do before," said Fortunate.