From Flawed and Shattered Pieces to a Brand New Vessed
My name is Nontuthuzelo G. Dlamini from South Africa. Friends and family call me Mantu or Mama Khumo. Nontuthuzelo is a Xhosa name in English that means “mother of comfort.” I am also a student at the Christian Leaders Institute, a tuition-free online Bible training institution.
Escaping Violent Childhood Trauma
I witnessed the murder of my father by his brother when I was five. After that, we continued to live with my father’s brother as if nothing happened. He frequently beat me and my sisters to “discipline” us for things like losing a jersey or shoes at school, etc. It made me grow up an angry child. As the second oldest of five girls, I had no trust in anyone and took it upon myself to protect my siblings. The only person that made me feel human was my mother. Life at home was brutal and cruel. However, Mom did all she could to make things “normal” for us. I always wanted to escape from my house at uMlazi, one of South Africa’s big Townships in the south of Durban, in KwaZulu-Natal.
Before I found my way out, the only “escape” from reality was to bury myself in books. I read a lot – anything I could lay my hands on. I wrote songs and poems to express myself. Daily physical exercise helped me to “let steam off.” I dreamt about leaving home every day.
How The Lord Jesus Found My Family and Me
When one of my school friends invited me to a Student Christian Movement prayer after school on the 9th of April 1987, I accepted the invitation. Little did I know that Christ would meet me in that prayer meeting. I was just thirteen years old. The same friend invited me to her Church, Oasis of Life, Pastored by Themba and Lulu Mthethwa. Experiencing the love of Jesus Christ and genuine love from total strangers at Oasis of Life Family Church opened a whole new world for me. Love drew me closer to Christ and provided the “escape” I so deeply desired out of the life I knew until then. Learning to pray also taught me to express myself to Jesus and find comfort freely.
I told my family about my new-found salvation in Jesus Christ. Further, I invited them to my new Church, which had become my second home. In 1991, most of the family accepted Christ, and things changed. The Name of the Lord became my Strong Tower – I ran to HIM and was SAFE. My mother, aunts, and my father’s brother all accepted Christ. My grandmother, who was a “sangoma,” burnt all her “sangoma stuff,” including her “ancestral shrine,” when she gave her life to Christ later in that same year. Therefore, my home turned from a place of torture to a place of worship.
If The Son Sets You Free, You Are Free Indeed
I was studying towards a 3-year full-time Human Resources Diploma since 1990 at the Mangosuthu University of Technology (then Technikon). I desired to work with people. I excelled in my studies. By God’s grace, I got a scholarship in my first and second year from one of the major Banks in the country (Standard Bank) and a Government bursary in 3rd year that came with a guaranteed job at the end of my studies. My family had eternal life in the kingdom of God. Therefore, when I graduated from tertiary, I finally prepared to leave home for work.
At 19, I moved to Gauteng Province to start working in Pretoria. When South Africa celebrated freedom from the apartheid regime to democracy in 1994, I was quietly celebrating my independence as a working young adult. Jesus kept me grounded in Him.
At 23, I married my love and best friend of six years. He was an Usher, and I was in Praise and Worship. Two years later, after some medical exams, the Doctors informed us that we could not have children. We had several medical procedures done over five years. We never doubted God would give us a child. Therefore, when I was 29, our firstborn, Khumo, arrived strong and healthy. Three years later, I fell pregnant again but suffered a miscarriage at six weeks. A year after that, our second son, Nqoba, was born. We had two healthy miracle babies.
Divorce and Life as a Single Parent
Our 12-year marriage, unfortunately, came to an end in 2008 after two years of counseling. We divorced and separated ways. I had full custody of the boys. While healing from the divorce, the Lord Jesus was my source of strength. I buried myself in books again and upgraded my Diploma to a 4-year degree. To date, I’m still with our two sons, who have endured a lot of challenges resulting from the divorce. However, God kept them grounded. They have grown to be young men who love and fear God. Khumo is a second-year college student, and Nqoba is in his final High School year.
Serving The Lord, My Calling, and CLI
Working in the government and later working in corporate environments, I worked with people. However, there was always a limit to how these people could be drawn closer to Christ. This created a void that I avoided confronting for years.
Throughout my walk with Christ, I served in various ministries. These included Praise and Worship and Pastoral Care. I currently lead Bible Study Teachings at my local Church as well as the Youth Ministry on a part-time basis. Working with young people and navigating through their challenges often reminds me of where the Lord took me from.
I searched online after an encouraging conversation with one of my church Elders regarding full-time Ministry earlier this year. I searched for a Bible training institution where I could study for Ministry. That’s how I came across CLI, which offered free online courses as a Bible training institution. I could register without finding the money to pay and study at my own pace. What an offering! Thank you, CLI!
CLI: a Bible Training Institution
Since registering, I have found very interactive training material, an engaging CLI community network, and, most importantly, a challenge to true discipleship as it is in the Word of God. All the coursework, including this class, confirmed that my childhood desire to “work with people” was a call to work for the Kingdom of God. It confronts the void I have avoided for years.
When Henry Reyenga and Steve Elzinga, in one of the video classes, asked, “What have you been saved from?” I wasn’t sure how to answer that. However, after looking back to where the Lord Jesus saved me, I see how Jesus took the pieces of my flawed and broken life and put them together to form an entirely new being in Him. Then, He called me into the Ministries I currently serve in. Therefore, I have the answer and look forward to the journey ahead.
Register a Study Account
Register for a free study account, automatically enrolling you in the Getting Started Class at the Christian Leaders Learning Platform. The Getting Started class will take you less than an hour to complete.
When you log in to the Learning Platform, you will notice that the Getting Started Class automatically appears on your dashboard.
The Getting Started Class will orientate you to the Christian Leaders Learning Platform and the Programs offered, including:
- Ministry Awards, Certificates, Diplomas, and Degrees with the Christian Leaders Institute.
- Minister Credentialling (Ordination) with the Christian Leaders Alliance, including local Soul Center registration possibilities.
Note: You can enroll in tuition-free courses or mini-courses immediately without finishing the getting started class.
Find out more about women in ministry here.