Some people have a gift for making friends. Joëlle Kalumba, a second-year graphic design and photography student at the College of Cape Town, has this gift. When she’s not studying at college, reading, or blogging – you’ll find her hanging out with her friends. Nine times out of ten she’ll have her camera on hand, merrily taking pictures of them to upload to Facebook.
Joëlle grew up in a Christian home. Both her parents were born-again believers in Jesus Christ. Knowing that their faith did not make their children Christians, their greatest desire was always for them to come to a personal saving faith in Jesus Christ.
“At the age of seven,” she recalls, “I started thinking about life after death. This was so strange! While other girls my age were playing with dolls, I couldn’t stop wondering what would happen if my heart stopped beating! I found the thought terrifying and couldn’t find any peace until I had an answer to my question.
One day at school, to my astonishment, the principal came into our class to talk to us about what happens when our hearts stop beating! I hung onto her every word. She explained to us how we all have a soul that keeps on living even after our bodies die – in either heaven or hell. She explained that because God loves us, He doesn’t want any of us to go to hell, but to spend eternity with Him in heaven. That is why He sent Jesus to earth to die on the cross for our sins. I had heard the Good News of Jesus Christ before – from my parents and at Sunday School. But on that day it made more sense to me than ever before. I went home after school, and asked Jesus to come into my heart and to forgive all my sins.”
Today Joëlle is twenty years old, and Jesus is still the Lord of her life. The fear of death no longer terrifies her. “I know that even if my heart would stop beating right now,” she says, “it won’t be the end. I have an unshakable as-surance that I will spend eternity in the presence of God – not because I’m a good person, but because of the glorious King who left His throne in heaven to come to earth to die for my sins.”