From prostitute to preacher

Nancy Chasa.

I gave Sharon Chasa (40) a lift to Plettenberg Bay on my way down from PE to Cape Town last year September. From the moment she stepped into my car, I knew that I had picked up a passionate Jesus follower. She had just been on an outreach and was on her way back home. In the short distance we shared the road, she told me her testimony – of how God saved her from a life of prostitution, alcohol, gangsterism  and violence. And how God is using her to help others find Him.

Though we kept contact, we only recently met again when she was the guest speaker at a Women’s Day prayer gathering in Kleinskool, Port Elizabeth. It‘s evident that God is using her. Many women shared afterwards how they were touched by her testimony.

Nancy, as she prefers to be called, comes from the Tsitsikamma area, but spent many years in Plettenberg Bay, where she made choices she regrets. She was an abused and emotionally neglected teenager and believed that she was only worth to “serve” men in what they wanted. At the time she did not know any better. Drinking helped her to cope with a miserable life of eating out of bins and sleeping under the bushes. During this time on the streets she had two daughters and later married a man only because he could give her a roof over her head and food – and drink with her.

Nancy said she had no idea how to raise kids. “They just came. I didn’t think about it.  I was 17 with the first one and at the time it was just something that happened.” So the two daughters were neglected of much needed proper care and attention. The eldest eventually also took to the streets.

The turn around
One night, lying drunk in her room after visiting a tavern, it felt as if her bed was burning. There were no flames though and she got really scared because she thought she was dying. She tried to wave to people passing her window, but it was long past midnight and no-one saw her. They also did not hear her calling to them. After some time she remembered that her grandma prayed to a God and that there were women in the area praying throughout the night. She went to them and gave her life to Christ. Her journey with God began.

“It remains a journey,” she says. “Though I’ve worked through many things, the memories are still painful at times, but there is more and more healing.”

Yet there were other challenges.

“When you get pulled into the church, there is lots of warmth and love. But once you’re in the church, you don’t feel that warmth and acceptance any more. So it is hard not to go back where you came from, because there is a feeling of belonging out there where you come from. The gangsters take care of each other, they accept each other. Also the prostitutes have a sense of belonging between them. And that acceptance, almost unconditional, is what makes it hard to resist the temptation to go back. Even if it’s a hard life that awaits you. That is what you know and where you’ve always felt at home. That’s why new converts often fall back into their old ways.”

Nancy had two more daughters; her conversion happening about a year before the last one was born.

Responsibilities
“With the younger two daughters my eyes were opened and I realised the responsibilities of motherhood. So many children experience what my eldest two had to go through. I wish those mothers could know how their children need their time and attention.” she says.

It’s been 10 years since God has given her new hope, a new identity and self-worth. At times she desperately struggled financially, but it was also a time in which she experienced how God could provide miraculously. “At one point I had to go without income for six months and we only had salt left in the house. For about three days I would put salt on my daughters’ tongues and let them drink water. That was their food.  Then some women in the area were prompted by the Holy Spirit to bring us food. And shortly after that time I got a monthly amount of money in my bank account for six months that, up to today, I do not know where it came from. That is how God can provide.”

In January Nancy felt a calling to move to Clarkson, between Humansdorp and Kareedouw, where she started  “Christ the Solution” ministry.

Starting there on her own has not been easy. The daughters had to adjust to their new school and surroundings and the hardship of the people around her is sometimes too much for her.

“The people are so poor and there is a lot of drugs and alcohol abuse. The people are also not really open for God’s Word, yet the church has grown from six members to 36,” she says. “But we need lots of prayer for the area. God can do big things.”

And a week after addressing the women at Kleinskool, Nancy’s eldest daughter gave her life to Christ and visited her mother for the first time in a very long time.

“I am just crying with joy. We spoke and shared and I am just so overwhelmed. God has done so much in my life. I just want to do more and more for Him!”

Nancy can be contacted on cell no. 084 539 6120.

6 Comments

  1. Thank you for the testimonies you are publishing. It is by God’s grace we are saved, and by his grace we are sustained. I know what Sharon/Nancy means about the church, having experienced the initial love and acceptance in the church, but realising (and it’s now 20+ years down the line) that, despite participating in the life of the church and in home-groups, I still have no real friends in the church, apart from one person. All the people I have known at church are essentially acquaintances, with no contact outside of our church involvement, despite a “friendship before function” church ethic. With no spiritual companionship in my home situation, one result is that I have learned to depend solely on the Lord. I pray that Nancy remains strong in her faith, in and through the Lord.

  2. God bless you dear Nancy! Great is your reward in Heaven. Don’t give up the fight.
    I have some verses for you to encourage you.

    They are those who desire a better country, that is, a heavenly, whose builder and maker is God. In the past they have wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, and tormented, of whom it was said that the world was not worthy of them, and He (God) was not ashamed to be called their God.6
    By seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, they know that all other things shall be added unto them. They esteem the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of the world. For this they are willing to suffer the loss of all things and to count them but dung, that they may know Him whom to know is life eternal.7
    Dear Nancy you have the privilege to be a real fighter for Jesus.

  3. James 4:7-8 therefore,submit yourself to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and he will draw near too you. Cleanse your hands you sinners and purify your hearts. Well done sister, and keep on spreading the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. You will get your reward in heaven.

    • Amen to all women out there who have come to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. All things are possible for those who believe. Well done ladies, God’s Richest Blessings. Love and respects.

  4. This story inspired me so much, that I got in touch with Nancy, offering my services to the women of Clarkson. Nancy told me that she asked the Lord if there is anybody who care about the women, to contact her and offer help!! At this stage she called me back this morning, asking me to come and host a conference in Clarkson on the weekend of 9 November 2012. Please pray for us that God will use this opportunity to make a difference in this people’s lives. Please also pray for the necessary funds to fulfill this commitment to them. Our ministry do’nt get any sponsorships from churches to bring the gospel, it’s an act in FAITH!!

  5. Awesome Nerina! Praying for u.