Jack preaching at Sevontein Prison.

My name is Bhekokwakhe Jack Gumede. I am 44 years of age, born with a sinful nature. I grew up in a family that was not saved, even though they were churchgoers just like me. During that period I did not know how to differentiate between a saved person and an unsaved person.

I grew up doing sinful acts, having knowledge that when I go to church I am going to offload my sins and start a new one each and every week. That was my habit until I was arrested.

When I entered prison, I started searching with regards to my life, trying to find myself, my purpose of living by attending various life skills programmes. My mind was full of political doctrines because I was a member of a political organisation. I went for training in the military. I was doing escort duties (VIP) for members of parliament of the previous KwaZulu-Natal Government during the apartheid era. I was influenced and overcome by the environment that surrounded me and, as a result, I became deeply involved with criminal activities.

In the middle of 1998 I accepted the Lord Jesus Christ to be my Saviour and I was baptised in the Seventh Day Adventist Church. But I realised I still needed to be taught about salvation, foundation of repentance from dead works, faith in God, instructions about baptism, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment.

I was starting to backslide and turned back to a life of worshipping ancestors. I was even using muti. If someone from my family died I had to wash with that muti as a cleansing ceremony.

I lived that life until I arrived at Sevontein Correctional Centre in 2007, where the men of God taught me about the true Jesus of Nazareth who saves lives and forgives sins. After that He empowers you to live a holy life so that you may live righteously after being filled with the Holy Spirit.

That was when my spiritual eyes were opened and a I started to understand spiritual things. I became involved in the affairs of the church after being appointed as part of the leadership amongst other brethren who were leading the church. Since then God has been good to me because he reveals himself to me through scripture so that I may grow in knowing and understanding Him.

On October 25, 2011 I was baptised again, after finding fault with the church I was first baptised in. I now walk with a good understanding of the Gospel of Christ that I have been called into. I pray that God the Father may increase my knowledge and understanding of knowing Him, by giving me His wisdom so that I may grow up and be spiritually mature in the Gospel of Christ and that His love may also grow within me.

Amen.