I spent most of my day speaking to Malcom (the young man in the picture above), after meeting him at an outreach.
Malcom was very open to sharing his story with me, and after hearing it I was both heartbroken and inspired. I wanted more people to know about it, so I asked him if I could share it with all of you.
He said yes.
(Side note: these are not his exact words, but I have not changed the story one bit, just the grammar.)
“My dad passed away when I was 1 and a half. We were both in a car accident, I survived because of him, but he didn’t make it. From the age of three my step dad would abuse me and my uncle started raping me, and he stopped when I was 8. I couldn’t wait to get away from my family. No one in my family believed me when I told them what had happened to me, so I ran away at the age of 9, and became a street kid. While on the streets, I was raped about 5 times in the period of 3 years. I did drugs for 7 years and stopped in 2009. It was so hard to stop with everyone in the streets around me pushing me to ‘try it one more time’. But I stopped.
I have been living on the streets for 18 years now. I sleep on any sidewalk, and when I can somehow get money for a shelter, I’ll stay there.”
After that, he got up and got in the long line to get food. I wasn’t sure what I say to a young man whom has been through so much, all I could say was, “I’m so sorry.”
After he had eaten, I snapped a quick photo of him, hugged him, and he left.
I craved more of his story.
I wanted to find out if things have gotten any better, if he even believes they can get better.
But he was gone.
About an hour afterwards, I went down to the Durban beachfront and went for a walk. While watching people walk past, I spotted Malcom. I couldn’t believe it. I walked up to him and greeted him again.
We ended up sitting down and talking for 3 hours straight.
I asked him if he had money for the shelters.
This was his response, “I almost have enough. I had to beg for this money though, and I hate begging. People turn around and tell me to get a job, but do they not think I have already tried? I don’t blame them though, we were not made to be beggars.”
We continued to talk about how he would sometimes dig in rubbish bins for food, and how embarrassed he was about it. He told me stories of how he would get woken up in the middle of the night with someone beating him up.
Suddenly, a man came up to us, asking if I had any money to donate to a church event for the youth of some townships near by, I said, “no, sorry.” Then, without any hesitation, Malcom jumps up and hands him the money he had gotten for the shelters. He needed that money. That was all he had.
When I asked him why he did that he said, “Did you hear what it is for? It is for people who need to hear about God.”
I had tears in my eyes.
how could someone be so selfless?
This young man had blown me away with his kindness.
He challenged me.
I was so shocked by what had just happened, that I kept asking him more and more questions about it. He laughed at me, and was quite happy to share his faith with me.
He told me that God makes him joyful. He told me that he knows that God will provide.
(He made me promise to write that part so that all of you might be strengthened some how.)
So this isn’t at all like any of my other posts, but I felt I better share Malcom’s story.
The man who is willing to give everything, even when he has nothing.