Walking for Jesus and having an opportunity to share the Gospel are what gets 55-year Edward Pozyn excited about life.
He has completed about five walks since 2011 with the aim of spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ and raising funds and awareness about poor and destitute people, as well as to simply survive.
At the end of July, he is planning to take on a 1 500km walk from Brits to Cape Town. This is despite not having a fixed place to stay, not knowing where his next meal is coming from or how he is going to secure the funds and equipment needed to complete his next long-distance walk.
Edward says he started walking after God miraculously rescued him from certain death. In November 2011, he was an alcoholic and drug addict living on the streets of Durban. His family had lost their home because of alcoholism and substance abuse, he was jobless and life seemed to hold no meaning, which is when he decided to commit suicide by taking a drug overdose.
He says he survived the attempt at taking his own life but, in his weakened state, became a victim of assault and rape.
“When I realised what was happening, I cried out to God and it was only the Holy Spirit that gave me the strength to get away, half running and falling as I went. When I reached a traffic intersection, a man, whose face I will never forget, helped me. The next thing I remember is waking up in a hospital where I had been in a coma for two weeks,” he says.
According to Edward, it was knowing that God saved him from his assailants that caused him to surrender his life to Jesus Christ.
“God not only saved me because I had no human strength in my body to get away but He has given me an opportunity to redeem myself. Through walking I am able to take the Gospel of Jesus Christ to people in different towns and cities,” states Edward.
For Edward, his life has become a testimony of what it means to survive on the grace of God and, through His grace, God has been sending him from place to place.
“At the end of 2011, I completed a walk from Durban to Port Edward and back. The next year I walked from Durban to Nelspruit; two years later from Durban to Johannesburg and then, in 2017, I walked from Durban to Ladismith to raise funds for a family that was going through a tough time.
“And last year, I walked from Durban to Cape Town to prepare for a fundraising drive that I hope to complete in August 2019. The funds raised will be donated to the Unathi daycare and community development in Geluk and Bethanie, two impoverished rural areas in Brits in the North West province. Both are the initiatives of Pastor Thandiwe Phiri who has been providing me with shelter for the past two months,” says Edward.
He explains that it was through divine intervention that he was able to attend the Maluti Mighty Men Conference and subsequently, connected with Youth with a Mission in Bethlehem in the Free State where he spent the first five months of 2019 before meeting and being offered a place to stay by Pastor Phiri.
“Everything I have seen Jesus do in my life is amazing. All the disappointments are of no consequence because Jesus is always there. I don’t care about disappointments. As believers, we cannot give up because of Jesus. With Him, it does not matter how many times you fall; Jesus is there to pick you up,” Edward declares.
Pastor Phiri says: “God sent Edward to us; we were in need of support for the young children we care for and he came and has amazed us. He has taught me how to reach out and ask for support.”
Pastor Phiri has her own story of God miraculously coming to her rescue. “As a little girl my granny always told me about the Lord but when I was 15 years old, I was raped and I became rebellious and angry and ended up as a prostitute in Johannesburg, which was actually an attempt to get revenge and destroy men.
“However, God spoke to me in a hotel room in 1988 shortly before I was shot four times. I survived and decided to commit my life to him. Having also experienced sleeping without food and a roof over my head and being abused, I have a passion for ministering to young people and the poor – I can’t be happy seeing people suffer.”
Edward is trusting God to provide for his next mission to walk from Brits to Cape Town. “Given that it’s winter, the walk will be tough and I will need proper equipment and clothing to survive in the outdoors. There are also safety considerations but I trust that God will work things out.
“I do realise that there is a difference between faith and foolishness but I can’t sit down and cry and wait for things to happen. I am confident that God is in control. My goal is to tell others about Christ – He alone can save – and to encourage believers to give in support of the poor and destitute,” he concludes.
How to contact Edward
Edward is planning to walk through the Karoo and is trying to raise sufficient awareness about his mission to secure the necessary support for a safe passage from fellow believers. Anyone wanting to contact him to provide support for his walk or to host him along the way or in Cape Town where he can have an opportunity to share his testimony and message of hope and care can do so by sending an SMS or calling him on 062 476 8204. Alternatively, you could contact him via Pastor Phiri on 074 385 8816.