LIBERATED FROM A LIFE OF MEANINGLESS ACTIVITY
Read this stirring account of how a twisted and tormented life can be transformed in just a moment, how a marriage on the rocks can be resurrected and how a life of bondage can be given liberation forever. Here is an Emmanuel TV story sure to stir wonder in the depths of your heart, bring a tear to your eye and leave you in awe of an awesome God.
Life was literally hellish for Maria Chisanga, her volatile husband dealing her verbal and physical abuse again in a fit of drunken madness. Their marriage had not started on such a chaotic note but alcohol had slowly consumed, overtaken and destroyed him. Alex was not the same man she had first met. For the young Zambian couple, already with two kids, the situation was dire and the marriage at the point of breaking beyond repair. “I don’t know whether it was due to the money I started having”, Alex reminisced. “but the moment we had our second kid, problems started coming and I started drinking. I was going out every night with friends and they influenced me to drink. From that time, things started to go downhill. The deeper it went, the worse life became and I started drinking badly. It was uncontrollable”.
As the alcohol clouded his judgement and veiled his values, Alex started going regularly outside his marital home, eloping with different women on various occasions, including the younger sister of Maria’s closest friend. He had three children outside of wedlock. “Eventually I ran away from my house, with my wife crying bitterly. They went to my father and different pastors – still they couldn’t stop me. You know, when you are carried away – you are gone.” Alex finally left his house in disarray, with his five children from Maria becoming virtually fatherless. “I was still financially supporting my wife, but soon stopped because I was with other women. That’s when I moved completely to Botswana and forgot about taking care of her and the children completely.”
Each attempted return to reconcile resulted in more strife and fights. Maria eventually made the decision to her hometown. “When my husband started drinking, it was horrible,” Maria soberly stated. “It was a time of crying, a time of crises, a very hard time for me. We were fighting and shouting at each other every day. He was beating me any time he felt like it. My children were so much affected by the drinking of their father. They came to the point of telling me, ‘Mummy – if you can leave this man, I think it would be better for you – because this man is beating you and bringing so many problems in our lives today.’ Even paying their school fees was a problem. Eating was a problem. He was beating me so much and I got tired. I prayed and prayed until I got tired and decided to leave the marriage.”
In bondage to beer...
If anyone is in a position to explain the devastating and destructive effect of alcohol abuse, it is Alex Chisanga. With turmoil throughout his home and life, Alex habit of extreme drinking established itself devilishly in his life. He literally existed in a state of delirium, dependent on the next beer-binge. “There was not a day that I did not drink,” he vividly explained. “The time I am talking with you now, maybe a carton would be gone. You know, when I got paid, I would buy some cartons and put them in the fridge instead of buying food. I might go and get five or six cartons and put them in the fridge. It came to the extent that I could not even sit like this without having a beer because I would be shaking. I needed to have a beer with me. When I was going to the toilet, I would carry a beer. It came to a time when I couldn’t even cook for myself. I had to go out and buy food before I could eat. Sometimes, I would spend two or three days without food but beer was there. Even when I was going to bed, when I slept, I would be having a bottle with me. As I would be trying to sleep, I would be drinking. In the night, all I would dream of was beer. And the moment I woke up, I would start. Sometimes, the bottle would fall from my hands in the night. You would just get up in the morning and see the mess, go to the fridge and get another one. I couldn’t live without beer. Like you are sitting down now – I couldn’t. I needed to have it with me. I needed to have it in my stomach – if I didn’t, I would become something else. I would become wild.”
As to be expected, the extreme addiction had taken its toll on him both physically and psychologically, with regular thoughts of suicide whirling within his head. “Physically, I was not normal. There were times when I would feel like a mad person. All it would tell you – go to the fridge, it is there. I even went bankrupt because of my alcohol addiction. If it was not there and you didn’t have money in the bank, I would force myself to go and sell something so that at least, it would be there. It must be there. My vehicle – I sold it because of that. We had two fridges; I sold one of them. I sold everything to buy beer. I was only left with my TV and a bed to sleep in. If you came close to me, you would sense the smell of my beer. It got to the extent that my whole body smelt of beer because sometimes I wouldn’t bathe. I would start to have a headache that was unstoppable – then something would come to m and tell me to get rid of my life.” Even while performing his duties as a heavy truck driver, Alex would drive under the influence of alcohol; astonishingly however, he was able to avoid accidents. “I used to hide alcohol at work. Even when I was driving, behind my seat you would find a carton of my beer.”
The downward spiral continued for Alex, bound in what could be termed as slavery to the spirit of alcohol that had totally engulfed his existence. It was the December of 2008 – over three years since he had last seen or spoken to his wife when his life dramatically changed. “One Sunday morning, a friend of mine came to find out whether I was at home,” explained Alex, who had been drinking throughout the nights of Friday and Saturday. “He asked me if I had a decoder in my living room.” In tune with his answer, the friend entered his house and fiddled with the apparatus before tuning in to a particular television station. “He increased the volume and then joined me outside on the veranda where I was drinking. After a while, he heard the voice of the man of God preaching.” Alex’s friend had tuned to Emmanuel TV, and it was the start of a live Sunday Service from The SCOAN with Prophet T.B. Joshua. “By the time he heard the man of God say, ‘Distance is not a barrier! Let us pray for the viewers’ – he said to me, ‘Alex – you need to come and watch this.’ ” Literally forcing the reluctant drunkard to enter his house, his friend brought him before the television. “He told me: ‘Come – I need you to touch the screen’. I told him, ‘No, let me just watch the man.’ Then he just grabbed my hand and forcefully put it on the screen. At that moment, the man of God said: ‘Whatever is not of Jesus – out!’ That’s when I went out on the ground.” Rolling uncontrollably on the floor of his living room, Alex was receiving a remarkable deliverance as a church service some thousands of miles away in Lagos, Nigeria progressed. The spirits tormenting his life and family were being chased out. “I must have been there for over 10 minutes. All I remember is that the man of God shouted, ‘In the name of Jesus – you are free’ and I just woke up at once, sweating profusely.”
Alex slowly got up, several neighbours having gathered due to the commotion, stared at him in amazement. The darkness that clouded his blood-shot eyes had gone. “I looked around and the first thing I asked was: ‘Where is my wife?’ My friend who had put on Emmanuel TV and all my neighbours started crying. They told me ‘Alex, your wife left you over three years ago.’ I couldn’t believe it. I went to the bedroom and started checking for my wife’s clothes. Then I discovered it was true – my wife was no longer with me. I began to cry.” Alex asked for a drink of water and a disbelieving neighbour brought out both bottles of water and beer, asking him to choose. He chose water.
The following day, Alex took a fortnight’s leave from work and started a desperate journey back to Zambia to find his wife. Discovering that his five children were scattered throughout the community and that his wife had returned to her father’s house, he set out to meet her. The passion to reunite was so deep that the journey of four days took him only two, to the point where he was 15km from the village of his father-in-law but with no transport available. “I walked the 15km on foot with the rain pouring and soaking me throughout. It was 1.00 when I finally arrived.” In the dead of night, Alex stood before his wife’s house and cried out. “When my father-in-law heard my voice, he said, ‘Alex, is that you?’ He then turned to shout, ‘Maria – your husband is here!’ ” It was a glorious moment, an unprecedented reconciliation upon 10 minutes in front of a unique television station. “Everyone was crying and we were hugging one another. In the morning, we had a meeting as a family. I had to explain to them what happened and how I got delivered through Emmanuel TV. They were surprised because what they heard about me and what they were seeing was a totally different thing. I knelt and apologised in the presence of the family, but my father-in-law stood me up and said: You remain our son. They killed a goat and we ate and celebrated together.” “It was a wonderful day,” recalled Maria. “Despite all that had happened, we were so happy to see him back in our lives – because we didn’t stop loving him. We were always praying for him and asking God to intervene in his situation – and He did!” After one week, the reunited couple returned to Botswana.
A family reconciled
Alex’s remarkable encounter with God through Emmanuel TV signalled the last alcoholic drink he took, as well as the birth of a new relationship with Maria. “It’s like we have just been married. I never realised before how beautiful my wife is! Now when I am off work, I will be in the house, working and eating together with her. I also reunited with my children, and they came back to spend holidays with us.” It can be genuinely called a total transformation. “Thank God for the man of God, Prophet T.B. Joshua and Emmanuel TV for what they have done – they have brought life to my life. I was a dead person who had nothing in the head apart from beer – beer was my focus. If I didn’t have a beer, I didn’t have anything. But today, I am a different person, I don’t even think about beer anymore, not a single craving.” For Maria, it’s as if she has a new husband. “There is a big, big difference in his life – now he is a new man. We can share the Bible together; we can pray together, we can do all things together. No more drinking. No more fighting. No more shouting. He is even a preacher of the Word of God now! We are enjoying our relationship!”
Her advice to couples about entering marriage is on the necessity of involving God. “I will advise those who are entering into marriage to invite God into their life, because a marriage without God has a limit but with God – all things are possible. To my fellow people out there, hold fast to God – our God is a good God, He never fails. Jesus is a conqueror – and once you believe in Him, you too are a conqueror with Him.”
Alex’s advice, informed by an unforgettable life-experience, is simple: “Thank God that I can give you these words of advice: do not go into alcohol. Rather choose the Lord Jesus Christ, who will give you life, who will give light to your future. Not beer – beer doesn’t give life. Beer only spoils your life and kills you in a manner that the more beer you drink, the older you become, the more you destroy yourself – your life will be miserable. Let’s hold fast to God, not the things of this world. Let’s have a new life in Him that will never put us in misery, a new life that will always bring joy and happiness. God created us in His own image and He wants us to follow His ways. How lucky we are that we are given Emmanuel TV! We’ve been given the prophet – Senior Prophet T.B. Joshua. He is not the prophet of Nigeria; he is a prophet of all nations. He is a prophet that is given to us to change our lives. Like me personally speaking now – if you saw me some years ago, you would shed tears. The tears you would be shedding are tears of joy that Emmanuel TV and its partners with Prophet T.B. Joshua have brought life to me today. I, Alex, am alive today because of Emmanuel TV. All I can say is thank you! I thank Jesus for saving my life and for giving me another chance!”