If you walk into God’s Army at 102 Bree Street, chances are that you will be greeted at the door by Cherene Mokhwae – a staff worker and manageress at their Cape Town book and coffee shop. Cherene is a vivacious young woman who loves God and has a strong passion for life. But it wasn’t always this way. Here is her story…
“I grew up with a single mother. She worked such long hours that I had to stay with my grandparents. Both were heavy drinkers. Living with them was chaotic, and I soon moved out. I lived with friends for a while, and later with my aunt. By the time I finished school I was in a relationship with a guy, which ended in a very painful break-up. I decided to come to Cape Town to get away from the pain.
I got a job as a waitress and my life soon began to revolve around alcohol. I worked close to Long Street and went drinking there three times a week – sometimes after working the late shift. At other times I’d even drink on the job!
After some time I got back together with my ex-boyfriend. But once again the relationship turned bad. I was in such pain that even drinking couldn’t numb it. I saw a psychologist for seven weeks, but it didn’t change anything. Nothing that he said could take away the pain.
Eventually, I decided to go to church. On the second Sunday, the pastor gave an opportunity for people to receive Jesus as their Saviour. I didn’t fully understand what it meant at the time, but I responded and received Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. A couple of weeks later I told my sister that I had given my life to Jesus. Very surprised, she asked me if I was now “born-again”. I didn’t want to admit it, but, deep down, I knew that I was born-again and that I needed to leave my old life behind!
At church I was encouraged to read the Bible. Although it didn’t make much sense at first, I kept on reading. One day I came across a verse in the book of Acts that says, “in God we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28). As I read this my heart leaped for joy! I understood that on the day that I was saved, I had found the purpose for my life – to have a loving relationship with God through His Son, Jesus Christ. Life is worth nothing apart from Jesus – He died on the cross for my sins, and rose again so that I might have a relationship with Him and the promise of eternal life. Jesus did this for you too, and I assure you that you can find true life in Him.”