He walked into my office wearing a pink shirt buttoned to the very top and a cream jacket. They were dirty but he looked regal. It was beautiful. There was a glow about him… it may sound poetic but it is true. After he told us his story I just knew that God had send him to us and that neither him nor us would ever be the same again.
Ganizani Kajoza is a young man of about 18 years old. He is an orphan who lost his parents when he was 8 years old. This forced him onto the streets where he became a street kid. He has lived on the street ever since until a few weeks ago. I met Ganizani in 2003 when I was working with the children on the street and we stayed in contact loosely over the years.
In his own words, this is his story:
I used to be a thief and a street beggar. I started this when I was 10 years old. I started doing this because of poverty because my parents died when I was eight years old. I became even worse because even the money I was getting on the street and stealing, I was using it on alcohol and marijuana.
But what made me stop was a girl called Enita. When I used to get drunk I would go to her and try and persuade her to be my girlfriend. One day she was talking about me to some other people (I was again drunk). She told her friends “look at this dirty boy, trying to persuade me to be his girlfriend’. I felt sorry for myself when she told me that the life I was leading is dirty and not fit for a boy as young as me. Her mother also talked to me and asked why a young man like me was stinking of beer.
After this conversation, I went back and thought about all this. I asked myself many questions. But one question I could not answer was ‘if Jesus comes back while I am still drinking and having prostitutes around me, what will He do with me?’ So that night I had no peace. I woke up around midnight. I started praying even though I did not know how to pray. As I was praying, a light flashed around me. I was terrified but something spoke to me ‘continue praying’. I prayed until morning. It was that night that I received the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Light.
In the morning, I felt propelled to go and share what had happened. I started walking. I saw a car and asked God to stop it. The car stopped and gave me a ride into town. I went and spoke to my friends. They all thought I was crazy and high on drugs. I went to a radio station to give my testimony. They too thought I was mad. I met some policemen on the way and told them that they need to repent of their ways. One slapped me. The others said ‘maybe, the Lord has sent this guy’. I even went to the Catholic Church to talk about what had happened to me. Everyone thought I was mad. I then went to another church to meet a pastor and talk to him. They said he was too busy to see me, a dirty guy.
After all this, I went to find my uncle. I told him about Christ. He too thought I was mad. Nobody accepted my message. Later on, my own family began to accept that Christ had changed my life. They believed me because they have seen that I have changed. From then, until now I have been preaching the gospel in the city.’
Ganizani cannot read or write but he carries a Bible and had one when we met (borrowed from a Zimbabwean lady). One of our staff met him and he told her to tell me that he was now preaching the gospel. She told him to come and so here he was.
Ganizani needs to learn to read and write so he can read the Bible. We talked about a plan of action. We discussed together with him (both Diamond and I). In the end we came up with a discipleship plan. We are now responsible. We have heard his story. We cannot smile and send him on his way. God has brought him to us.
Ganizani will find lodging nearer Diamond so he can be discipled. He will move with Diamond and go where he goes and learn together. In addition, we will find him a tutor so he can learn to read and write. This is the reason for the ministry. This is our neighbor and unlike Cain, we choose to say, ‘yes, we are our brother’s keeper’. God has a call on this young man’s life. Talking to him is like coming into contact with passion and determination I have not seen in a long time. Coming into contact with him and hearing his story is challenging for us all. With no resources and illiterate and discouraged at every bend, this young man is reaching toward the goal of the high calling. This young man is advancing the kingdom through the encounter he has had with Jesus.
All he said that he preaches is this, ‘If Jesus were to come, what would he say about the way we are living our lives?’