Testimony of a Child of KwaSizabantu 

One doesn’t get to choose where one is born. God destines that for you. I, it turns out, was chosen to be born and raised at KwaSizabantu. What an eternal privilege! 

I was a naughty and mischievous boy and discipline, I’ve often been reminded, had to be meted out on numerous occasions. Though I don’t remember most of it, I know I needed it and it did me good and I have no bitterness. It made me into the man I am today. Being on the mission allowed me to grow up with friends and brothers who were Zulu, and until I was made aware of race issues at school, I was ignorant of “black and white” – it was simply the life I knew. Zulu was very much a mother tongue to me. I heard it preached by Rev Erlo Stegen, and I wanted to be like him. I gave my heart to God at 13, in 1993 at an altar call. It forever changed my life, as God dealt with the sin in my heart such as challenging me to truly honour my parents; to check the purity of my motives and thoughts and the way I dealt with people. This is not some KSB terror tool, but a loving God who wants to have a relationship with me, and something I accept joyfully as I want to live in communion with my Saviour.

Once I finished school, I was able to work on the mission. Again, this was, and is, a choice and a privilege for me. I got to work at aQuellé in its early years and have been able to grow with the business. For my young years, the business experience and opportunities I have been given and accumulated is priceless. However, I value the personal growth the most – how to treat people; how to handle crisis situations in a godly manner that will encourage people, rather than simply read them the rule book. This is an ongoing journey that I am grateful for. 

My greatest treasure from God has been my wife, Suzelle. God made it clear to me that she was the one for me. I know this without a shadow of a doubt. And although getting married without dating or courting first is somehow viewed with horror and disdain, I’m so thankful that I was able to get married without any regrets. Suzelle’s will always be the first and only woman’s hand I’ve ever held. What can be better? I have no cautionary tales to tell my four beautiful children, and that is a feat in today’s day and age! I only have a beautiful love story, written by God.

I am blessed to be involved in the spiritual work of the mission. Thanks to the variety of cultures I was exposed to while growing up, I am fluent in four languages. Thus, I can help with the translation of services and in this way, help spread the good news of the gospel. It is not a gospel of fear and horror, but of liberation and victory! It also leaves me with the responsibility of actually living what I preach – something I strive to do daily. 

Carl Stegen