Southafrica CropZanele, 18, is a Grade 12 student in South Africa. Her parents are unemployed and live in poverty. “Despite our hardships, I’m glad my family is loving, protective, caring, and optimistic about life,” she says.

Zanele was a leader at school and actively participated in various group discussions and extracurricular activities. “Outside of school hours, I do house chores and take leisure walks in the neighborhood. This is a cherished time for self-introspection and meditation on life in general. Although I grew up a quiet girl, not affected by teenage delinquency, I had an empty void in my heart. I could sense that something was missing in my heart,” she recalls.

Her life changed dramatically when a local pastor invited her to Bible League’s Project Philip Bible study. “It made me feel at ease, loved, and appreciated. I have learned that following God is the best decision I’ve made. I’m glad that I found the answer in Jesus that filled my emptiness. It was a process, but it led me to fulfillment,” she says.

Zanele started spending more time with God and His Word and going to church regularly. Her life changed as she became more forgiving and kind to everyone. “The lesson from Matthew 4:18-25 is my favorite story. I have learned that I should not hesitate when Jesus calls me to follow Him. My family is very supportive of me, and I can see that my behavior has changed.”

She is very grateful for the people who were instrumental in her transformation. “I thank God for sending the people at Bible League and my friends at the Bible study group. Pastor Shabalala guided me at the right time when I was about to lose my way. I want to become a better person, to be more loving and forgiving. Through the Bible study, I have learned that Jesus is the center of everything in my life. My desire is for my friends to discover this truth and that Jesus will change their lives as He did with mine,” she beams.