Days after his left arm was paralysed in an unprovoked stabbing assault, a young Pietermaritzburg man forgave his attacker and led him to faith in Jesus Christ.
Nkonzo Zulu, a former team member of Foxfire, a youth evangelism programme of African Enterprise (AE), was walking home with friends on Friday, October 7, when a young man came running up behind them, screaming someone else’s name, before stabbing him twice in the shoulder with a long fishing knife.
Before he could stab Zulu a third time someone from the neighbourhood apprehended him, taking away the knife and rushing Zuu to Edendale Hospital, reports AE in its November newsletter.
The knife had ruptured a nerve which rendered him paralysed in his left arm. When Nkonzo was in a stable condition he was placed in a ward with two other men who had also been stabbed.
“After building relationship with these men, we started talking about Jesus and faith,” said Zulu. One of them followed by giving his life to Jesus.
Two days later Zulu was moved to another ward. It was here that his attacker, a known drug dealer in the community, came to visit. For hours they talked, while the stabber confessed to Zulu. “He told me about his past, weeping while doing so”.
Since the stabbing he had been unable to sleep, and had been drinking on a daily basis, wanting to end everything by killing himself. In desperation he decided to visit Zulu at the hospital, not knowing how he’d be received. He was very aware that he could have found Zulu’s parents or the police waiting for him.
“After the two hours we spent together in the hospital, the guy left as a new creature, forgiven by the Lord, and I had forgiven him too,” said Zulu. His attacker asked to go with Zulu to church as soon as he was released from hospital.
Zulu also gave the man his own Bible to read and, in a further gesture of peace, wrote a message on the inside cover.
When asked why he chose to give his attacker a second chance, he said: “I thought about how I had survived the stabbing and that God had given me a second chance to live, and that my attacker also deserves one”.
On October 24 Zulu had an operation on his shoulder. He was treated by one of the best hand surgeons in the country, who ‘happened’ to be a resident doctor at Edendale Hospital. During the eight hour procedure the medical team operated very close to Nkonzo’s heart.
The AE newsletter concludes: “Praise God, the nerve in his arm was successfully repaired and Nkonzo recovered the use of his left arm! Nkonzo now faces a lengthy recovery period at home but he is continuing to shine for Jesus in the midst of it all. Please remember him in your prayers.”