The youngest of 7 children, Zola grew up in one of the largest townships in South Africa. When he was only 7 years old, his father passed away from complications due to asthma. A few years later, his mother passed away as well. Now orphans, life was a constant struggle for Zola and his siblings. Food and finances were scarce, and help seemed nowhere to be found. Zola grew angry and bitter. He hated God, hated church, hated people, hated everything. He questioned what he’d done to deserve this.
Zola heard a message in church about God being our Father. He immediately dismissed it, thinking, “You don’t know my story. You have no idea what I’ve been through.” But as he opened his heart to the possibility, he began to feel God’s love like he never had before. With newfound honesty and intimacy, he prayed fervently—questioning and wrestling with God, trying to make sense of all he’d been through. As time went by, Zola broke down in tears as he felt God reassuring him that He’d been with him all along—that, no matter what, He was his eternal Father who would never leave or forsake him.
Last year, at age 24, Zola joined our EPIC Leadership and Discipleship course. He wanted to study God’s Word, and in the process, he discovered with even greater clarity what it means to trust God as Father. He says he’s found more joy and freedom in his relationship with God than he ever thought possible.
Now an intern with us, Zola will help lead the next EPIC course. In his own words —
“I have such joy that God is going to use me to help someone who is just like I was. What an opportunity! I know God will heal hearts because He did it for me.”
We are so grateful for Zola and countless others like him, whom God continues to send our way. Building them up from the inside out, we see God doing a mighty transformative work in hearts, in communities, and in this nation.
Just $250 pays for a student’s complete EPIC course—covering their housing, meals, class materials, and outreaches. Sponsor a young leader today!