I am Nascimento Nkomo. I am 22 years old and live in Sebokeng Vaal, Zone 6 Extension 2. I just want to pass this testimony of mine to the Gideons, while I have the chance.
I grew up in a shebeen. My mother used to sell alcohol for a living, ever since she divorced my father when I was only three years old. I come from a family of four children, of which I am the third.
I used to ask myself questions about God, just to fill in the void that existed in me. I was a very quiet boy, who always had questions about God, about suffering, and life in general. I used to enjoy my own space, nurturing my emotional wounds and spiritual void.
When I was doing Grade 8, in 2012, I used to own a torn Bible that belonged to my mother. I found it just lying there. I read it, and I would meditate upon every scripture I read. In came The Gideons at my school, Thandukwazi Secondary, who gave us small home language Bibles. I grew fond of it, very fond. Things got better. The Gideons were a mix of the black and white races. It was an amazing thing to see. I wondered in my heart how those people could have a burden for us, to give us those Bibles, when they never knew us. I wondered about the amount of money they spent to make all those Bibles that they give out so freely.
I stuck to that small Bible for years, up to now. I remember being teased at school for always carrying it. Some had lost theirs, while others had theirs torn and others were given away. I found answers to all the questions I had. I enjoyed the books of Proverbs and Acts a lot. I knew Jesus, the Saviour, and a lot better. There was a small study at the back of it, on what the Bible was all about, and who Jesus was. I grew fond of God.
I remember, when we were given those Bibles at first, one of The Gideons’ stood in the class and said, “Please keep it safe, there are very important things about God inside, and what we do is what God wants us to do, and that is how He shows His love to you.” I pondered on those words a lot. I cannot actually remember how many Gideons there were, but there were three in my class, taking out of a big box the Bibles.
I was already preaching everything that I got from that Bible in the form of recitation since I had no official training. It was a fun experience. I grew in the Lord gradually, especially when I met my Maths teacher in Grade 10. He taught me more about Christian doctrines, like baptism and faith, every day at lunchtime. He got Interested to share God’s Word with me when He saw me carrying that small green Bible. He realized that I carried it every day.
When I was doing Grade 12, in 2016, I got invited to a church, Salvation Pentecostal Church International. I learned a lot about Christ there also, still relying on that same Bible. When I got there the first time, the people were astonished of the answers that I gave about Christ, which I got from the Gideons’ Bible.
Currently, I am still in the leadership of the church, serving under Apostle Khulumani Dube, a very humble servant of God, who helped me put the Word into practice.
I just want to say that I am grateful to The Gideons for their work. I am filled with tears in my heart, to see how much I have grown, to know and love and serve the Lord, and to see where I am at this age through the sacrifice they made, to make efforts to bring the Word of God to us, free of charge.
When I saw that they were a mixed-race, I realized that they must have come from far. That on its own broke my heart. I still don’t know much about The Gideons, except that they are working hard, dispersing the Word to nations. I am pursuing Theology as a career, because of the inspiration I got from them. I won’t forget that. I am studying at Johannesburg Bible College now.
If given a chance, I would love to return the favour in any way I can, primarily by saying thank you to the Gideons, and to be an evangelical too. I want to make it my ambition, to touch lives with the Bible, the Gospel, in spite of race, financial status, or location, like The Gideons do. I want to touch the hearts of people with Christ, whether I know them or not. I have seen how love, care, and sacrifice can change a person’s life. I am still praying for my family to come to the Lord Christ, even today. I have hope. If God did it for me, He can do it for anyone else.