Joseph’s addiction to alcohol nearly cost him everything
Ending up Groenpunt Maximum Prison was the best
thing that happened to Joseph Mama, because there he heard and responded to a
message from God and was delivered from his addiction to alcohol.
“Before I was sent to prison I was a very selfish person,” Joseph
says. “I had a lot of stress and was very sick. I went to taverns and
got drunk while the rest of my family attended church. I couldn’t see
the need for me to attend church as it didn’t fit into my way of
At the time Joseph was arrested he was spending all the money he earned from
building houses on alcohol, an incredible R200 on alcohol every day.
“I was an alcoholic and in lots of pain when I first came to
prison,” he recalls. “I was in desperate need of a Saviour who
would change my life and heal me. I started to attend the prison church
services and talked to other inmates about Jesus Christ.
“Then one day the message was on
John chapter 15, and for some reason
the words seemed to mean something especially for me. In this chapter, Jesus
is speaking to His disciples and He calls Himself the vine and them the
The speaker shared Jesus’ words: “If a man remains in me and I in
him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does
not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such
branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.” (See
John 15, verses 5-6.)
The speaker then explained that Jesus is the Creator and Sustainer of the
universe (see Colossians 1, verses 15-17), and unless we trust in His
life-giving sacrifice for our sins, we will suffer eternal destruction by His
Joseph recalls: “I realised that I needed to receive Jesus Christ as my
Lord and Saviour for me to part of the vine and receive eternal life in
“The call was given for anyone who wanted to become a Christian to come
to the front and I responded. I asked Jesus Christ to forgive me and I said
sorry for living my own way and accepted Him as my Lord and Saviour. From that
time I promised to serve Jesus Christ.”
Joseph is now a very different person from the one who entered prison. He has
faith, peace and joy in his life and he is allowing God to help him with his
addictions to alcohol and smoking.
“Before I accepted Jesus Christ into my life and started serving Him I
was disrespectful and selfish,” he says. “Now I have a spiritual
family that helps me to understand the Bible and supports me.
“Before, I thought that God was not for me and that church didn’t
fit into my lifestyle, now I am eager to continue to grow in the wisdom and
knowledge of the Lord.”