Virgil Lyle Arnoldus, aged 23 lives in Wellington with his father aged 64. At the age of 3 Virgil was involved in a car accident which resulted in him losing his memory and paralysed him. He had to learn to walk and talk and be re-introduced to his family. After his parents separated, Virgil dropped out of school, started experimenting with drugs and disrespecting his mother, not realising that his mother was diagnosed with liver cancer. In the same year his mother was diagnosed, his cousin with whom he was close, committed suicide by hanging himself. His parents later got back together, however his mother died in 2014.
Virgil used crystal meth, dagga and tik. He says that the drugs opened the door to the devil being inside of him, as he had a devilish look that scared anyone who spoke to him or looked at him. He became angry and violent most of the time, beating up anyone who challenged him. Drugs completely took over his mind and actions. At first, drugs dulled the pain, thereafter they created more pain. Virgil had many cases made against him, attempted murder, robbery, assault, property damage – however by God’s grace only served 1 week in prison.
At the age of 21, Virgil inherited money from the death of his mother, which he wasted on drugs, cars and other life pleasures. It was only when he crashed his car into a mountain and the car was wrecked, however he had not a scratch on him, that he realised that he may have gone to hell if he died that day. God showed him in a dream to go t to Networking for Christ (NFC) for help. He has never turned back since.
At Networking for Christ (NFC), run by Ulrich Lottering, works with ex-offenders and their parents, a non-profitable organization based in Wellington that is operational in the Cape Winelands. They currently run four programs namely Youth Development, Prison ministry Reintegration and Aftercare for Post & Prelease offenders. They assist ex-offenders and parolees with a Support network such as therapeutic and counselling, fatherhood program, skills development, youth mentoring, recidivism, reintegration and spiritual care. Depending on the needs analysis, they also assist them with CV’s, appointments for leaners, finding jobs, referring them to other role-players that can assist them and with family reunification services. Biblecor’s programs are used to assist making a difference in these young men’s lives.
Virgil’s advice to youngsters is that some people will never understand the grace of God until they hit rock bottom and reach their lowest ebb in life. Be careful with your future, read the bible for guidance and success and know this: God is always forgiving!
Virgil, in conjunction with NFC, partakes in Biblecor courses which has made a huge positive impact in his life, helping him with life skills and restoring his relationship with his father. He has found a good job and still continuing with the programs.
When I completed the interview I asked Virgil, ‘Ulrich at NFC is a good mentor to you?’ He answered, ‘No mam, Ulrich used to be my mentor, but now we are now family!’