An alarming number of children are raped every day in South Africa. And tragically the deep pain and shame of these childhood experiences launches many young people into lives blighted by substance abuse and sexual bondage.
Nina Blount, 40, was sexually abused by family members from the age of 4 and raped at the age of six. The rapes by family members and others continued throughout her childhood and teenage years. She began drinking at the age of 10 and later ran away to escape the abuse. But on the streets she found only prostitution, drug and alcohol abuse and witchcraft. She was raped at gunpoint, abducted by a paedophile and sold to some men. Somehow in between bouts on the streets, in reformatory, places of safety, rehabilitation centres and prison she achieved an excellent matric pass.
In later years she had a protracted homosexual relationship, worked as a prostitute and stripper, ran a brothel and strip club, had two abortions and was a practicing witch. At the age of 27 she had a daughter with a policeman who she left after two years because of his drug and alcohol-driven violence. She began a relationship with a drinking drugging biker called Wicked Willy and they had a son. After some years she took up with a drug-addicted tattoo artist and warlock. She made several attempts at sobriety and caring for her children whom she loved. But sadly they both ended up with other family members.
Hell on earth
The above account only gives a very brief glimpse into the hell on earth that was Nina’s life. Many people in such lifestyles remain trapped in the cycle of abuse, becoming abusers themselves. But Nina encountered God. A friend of her tattoo artist partner told them he had given his life to God and he attended a church where miracles happened.
“We walked away without giving it [the friend’s testimony] a second thought,” she said.
But later her partner committed his life to God at a church while he was in a drug rehabilitation centre. She eventually agreed to pray with the preacher to give her life to God. But she said something seemed to be missing.
But on June 12, 2009 God found her.
“I do not know what happened the evening before I gave my heart to the Lord. All I know is I was out with a male friend of mine and we drank a lot of whisky and sniffed a whole lot of coke. I don’t know what happened and I don’t think I want to. All I know is that I woke up the next morning and knew I could not go on anymore. I shouted at God that He won, and that He could take my f…… life and do something with it. I tried and I couldn’t and I was done. I told Him I give up and He wins. That’s it. I stopped drugging drinking and smoking that day.”
Nina began to read her Bible and worked hard at living a clean life. But since his discharge from rehab her partner had returned to drugs and was violent towards her. One day she insisted they should go to the church where miracles happened that his friend had told them about some months previously.
“We had a huge fight, but God intervened and we went. I met the living God I was searching for there,” said Nina.
Describing her God encounter in August 2009 after the pastor of the church prayed for her she said: “I was slain in the Spirit and felt the unconditional love of God. That was the moment I fell in love with Him; that was the moment God stepped of the pages of a book and became a Father to me.”
Nina said that she subsequently went through much deliverance on her road to healing. She got her daughter, Amber, back but her son was adopted: she had signed papers while not in her right mind due to the effects of drugs. She was misled by a family member during this period but says that God has enabled her to forgive all those who have harmed her. She said that through God’s grace she is now able to pray with them and look them in the eyes and tell them she loves them.
Some time after her conversion Nina and her partner parted ways and she became friends with Martin Blount, a Christian businessman she met at church in Polokwane. They subsequently got married and now live in Tarkastad in the Karoo.
“Martin introduced me to nature and horses and I fell in love with a horse called Katie. God used her in my life to reach the parts that no human could,” she said.
“The only time we are truly happy and fulfilled is while ministering or horse riding. So God has led us to put the two great loves of our lives together and share it with his children,” she said referring to an epic horseback mission she, Martin and Amber are embarking on next month.
Nina has come a long way since she encountered Jesus and He set her free. She has a diploma in ministry and is busy with a degree in pastoral counseling. She can also speak sign language and does some work with deaf people from time to time. “I know their world. It is much like mine was when I was little; no voice and no sound, just the silence of a breaking heart. I have a special affinity with them.”