[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]My name is Shudley Brown. I was born into a Muslim family in Bonteheuwel. I lived with my mother and baby sister; my father was absent as long as i can remember. My father worked on sea and did not support us in any way, in fact he neglected us. Our family home was sold from under us and we were left on the street with nowhere to live. We moved from place to place, most days going to sleep with nothing to eat. I went to school hungry and did not enjoy school very much. In the winter months I remember we would walk over to Epping to sleep among the factories to get out of the cold and rain. I can remember one day a security guard gave us some money for food.

At the age of 8 years old I started smoking cigarettes, I started to bunk school and moved around with the wrong friends. I stayed out of school for 3 months, without my mother knowing. At the age of 9 I started smoking dagga, at 12 I started on mandrax and Tik plus I was already drinking. We broke the window and started to steal from the school. We moved to Mitchells Plain and I stopped going to school. This is when I progressed to heroin; I walked with gangsters, carried guns and sold drugs. I thought: “My life is already messed up, what is the use?” I left my mother’s house to live in a shabeen with broken windows and no doors and many druggies living there. I spent all my money I skarreled on the street on drugs. I have fond moments when I went to my mother for money and she would give me her last pennies. One day I lost the dealer’s money and drugs, he beat me up and stabbed me and I landed up in hospital; I almost died. I then spent 5 months in prison for possession of drugs. When I was released from prison my mother was very happy.

One Sunday my friend’s mother spoke to me about changing my life and going to a rehab. The Monday, on my mother’s birthday, I set off for Living Grace. I finished a two month program and came to U Turn for an interview. For the first time I celebrated my birthday clean and sober. I accepted the Lord as my Saviour and was baptized recently; I have a great relationship with the Lord. My mother approves of me being a Christian and is very proud of me. My desire is to share my testimony with others in schools, at churches and in prisons.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]