Walk of Salvation, walk with hope

THABAZIMBI – Courageous, interesting and humble, only a few words to describe a young man, named Charles de Kock who has a vision to walk across South Africa, sharing his experience and knowledge about drug dependency with parents and their teenage children.

Charles’ vision, which he believes came from God, entails going to various towns throughout SA to speak to families about the seriousness of drug abuse. His only refuge at night is a one man tent and the generosity of others.

Charles’ childhood abruptly ended at about the age of 12, when he got involved in drugs, smoking dagga with his surfer friends in Cape Town. According to Charles, doing drugs is a decision you consciously make. He smoked dagga even before he smoked cigarettes. Thereafter he began experimenting with other drugs, got involved in stripping and prostitution, and by the age of 16 years he was in too deep.

He struggled for 12 years with his heroin addiction, losing his family, job and desire to live, he ended up on the street. Eventually he realized the power of prayer after the continuous two year prayers of his family and congregation. He got help and gave his heart to God. He has been clean for three years and said that he would never stay clean without God by his side.

Charles experienced recurring dreams, and realized that his visions came from God. He said that he felt a powerful urge within to tell his story of salvation and hope to others in similar situations. For this to happen he had to take the road less travelled. It was easy for Charles to take the plunge, realizing his visions came from God. Armed with a Bible, rucksack, tent, sleeping bag and hope in his heart, he departed from Cape Town in March 2011.

His journey is to take him all over South Africa, Mozambique and even Botswana.

Charles still doesn’t have a set route planned, he walks by faith in a direction. When he arrives in a town he first phones the police stations and SAVF’s of each town to get hold of churches, rehab centres and schools where he talks about his experience with drug abuse to bring awareness to the youth and their parents.

Communities receive him with open arms and hearts. Charles has been given lodging, food and clothes wherever he went. A woman in Rustenburg offered him her son’s clothes, after Charles had given his own clothes to homeless children.

Surely there were times when he just wanted to throw in the rucksack, but when he felt alone, abandoned and hungry, God always provided. “Your faith shall keep you fed,” as it says in the Bible. Charles doesn’t charge anything for his talks, as he believes that God will provide for him. “True passion comes from the heart,” he says.

He is very excited when he speaks about his soon to be published book named Walk of Salvation, which consists of the story of his walk to salvation out of drug dependency.

The church in the Western Cape, where Charles is based, is called Table View Assembly of God. They also have a farm which is a biblical Christian based restoration centre for drug addicts. They accept addicts from all over South Africa. For families affected by addiction, contact Table View Assembly of God on 021 557 3948 or email gael.leroux@aog.co.za.