02 October 2017

Greed landed me in jail

Love of money and the need to belong in a group of friends drove Moipone away from the presence of God and eventually landed her in prison.

After coming to the Universal Church for four months, Moipone found a job and relocated to Johannesburg. She made new friends who had all the finer things in life.

"I envied their lifestyles so much. They told me how they made money from smuggling drugs. Over time, I no longer put aside time to pray or read my Bible, and eventually stopped going to the church altogether. I joined my friends and smuggled drugs to other countries. I also resigned from my job to make my first delivery of drugs to Brazil. That trip paid me R60,000 and it encouraged me to travel to other countries. I made good money that afforded me the flashy lifestyle I envied with my friends. I moved into a luxury apartment and provided the best for my daughter who was three years old at that time. My family didn’t suspect any foul play because I told them my job paid me well," she said. 

For over five years Moipone lived on the edge of being caught as she smuggled drugs into and out of South Africa. In 2012, she was arrested at OR Tambo International Airport and was sentenced to eight years in prison.

"I had just landed when the police called me aside and searched my bags. I was caught with small bags of drugs and was arrested. It was while I was waiting to be sentenced that I heard I had been set up by one of the people I worked with. I was then sentenced to eight years in prison and lost everything, including the expensive furniture I had in the apartment I rented. My mother was shocked by the news of my arrest, but she gave me the support I needed," she said.   

It was when she was in prison and had lost her friends that Moipone remembered how wholesome her life had been when she was in the church.

"I was introduced to the church services that were conducted by people from the Universal Church. I later took part in the “Nothing To Lose” classes. The course made me understand that it was my greed that brought me to where I was, and that I had to take responsibility for my actions and their consequences. I also learned through the example of Bishop Macedo’s experiences that my life was not over, but that I had to learn to make good choices," she said.

After serving five years of her sentence, Moipone was released on parole.

“I could not wait to come out of prison and go back to church because I realised I needed to rebuild my relationship with God.  I continued coming to the church and I found a job that enabled me to provide for my daughter.

Although I don’t make nearly as much money as I did dealing in contraband, the peace I have now far surpasses the thrill of the drug trade. The presence of God gives me the fulfilment I wanted for all those years,” she said.

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