During that time, Aaron visited one of our centres in the area. It was here that he gave his life to the Lord and made a commitment to follow Jesus. Even at such a young age, it was amazing to see him grow in confidence and witness the change in his life. Aaron wanted to get back to school, which we managed to assist him to do.
We also helped him to access his social grant so he could take care of himself. In exchange for this grant money, a member of the community (‘uncle’) agreed to take him in and allowed Aaron to build a small shack on his land. We provided the wooden planks for this structure, which became his home.
Once again, Aaron had to show great tenacity and determination to not go back to living on the street. One Friday evening, he refused to purchase alcohol from the local illegal tavern with his grant money. In a fit of rage, the ‘uncle’ threw Aaron and all he owned out onto the street. That weekend, at a LIFE Youth Meeting, the staff noticed that he was quiet and withdrawn. After speaking to him, they realised he had no place to stay. The offer was made for him to stay at the DeVries’ home for the weekend until his affairs were sorted at the Welfare Office the following Monday morning. That weekend stay turned into eight years.
High School became a nightmare after he was twice held up at knifepoint for his phone and his backpack. The decision was made to move him to South Cape College, where he completed his education with Business Management as a main subject.
Aaron’s natural leadership skills gave him favour with many people. He became a youth and camp leader for other children at LIFE, as well as at the church he still attends. After graduating from high school, he started working at a local aftercare facility and is now gaining additional office skills as well as soft skills. In the future, he would love to study Business, but first he needs to raise the necessary funds.
An amazing part of his story revolves around the spiritual growth that has taken place. Nothing can shake his faith or distract him from the pursuing the will of the Lord. He is actively involved in his church, community and volunteers whenever needed. Matthew 6:33 is his favourite Bible verse.
Sadly, he continues to be shunned by his own family, who are seeking financial support which he is in no position to give. They have turned their backs on him completely. Yet at the time when he needed their support as a young boy, they weren’t willing to help.
Currently, Aaron is attempting to be a mentor to his younger brother. With the assistance of the LIFE Staff in Thembalethu, he is encouraging him to complete school and not to get caught up in drugs and alcohol.