Meet Thando: An Interview from the Field
 Last year during our Summer Camp, we had the privilege of having Pastor Donavan and Thando May come be our special speakers for the week.  During that week, my heart was knit with Thando’s.   I loved watching her interact with the kids.  I loved hearing her teach her lessons and loved hearing how God took a Xhosa orphan in Hillbrow, South Africa and blessed her with a godly home.   I am so excited to share her story with our readers.    I wish I could bottle up the contagious joy and servant’s heart you see when around her.
Here is what she had to say:

Can you tell us a little bit about your childhood?

I grew up as an orphan and had to raise my 7 year old sister when I was just 14.    It was a very difficult childhood, I had to clean people’s houses and plait (braid) hair in the streets to get money for bus fare to school and food.   We had to share our flat (apartment) with strangers who in turn covered the rent.  I grew up in Hillbrow (which is known as a dangerous place).  I thank the Lord for His protection and provision in our lives as little girls who were left to fend for themselves.

 When did you first start going to church, and how did you come to accept Christ as your Savior?

My sister and I were invited to Awana and through Awana we started going to the Hillbrow Independent Baptist church.    I got saved during a very difficult time in my life.  My mom was hospitalized and dying, not knowing where she would go should she die or where I would go, I decided to raise my hand after a youth meeting where I heard the gospel for the very first time that night at the age of 14!    One of the youth leaders took us aside and explained how we can get saved, but I didn’t get saved on this day. I started attending Awana, youth, Sunday services and midweek bible studies faithfully. I heard things I had never heard before about this amazing God who loved me, wanted to make me His child and had prepared a place for me in heaven. I wanted to know this God. One day in my flat I remember crying out to Lord to save me if He was real and if He was truly as the bible described Him to be. I don’t really remember all I said as I prayed and cried to Him for a very long time! After that I remember feeling such peace! Like a huge load was lifted off my shoulders and I had hope again and a reason to live!  I was His child!  3 weeks later my mom died and the Lord carried me through it all and comforted me. I was left orphaned with a 7 year old to look after and no money, but I had peace and hope in Christ. Life got harder but the Lord held my hand. Nothing was just given to us! I had to work for everything! I finished school only by His grace and found a job soon after. I don’t know where I would be right now if it wasn’t for Jesus’s love for me. I am thankful He found me and saved me when He did.   I definitely see how the past has helped and molded me in our current ministry.  I can relate to the people we minister to in the township and informal settlement.  He alone has made this change in my life and equipped me for this ministry.

In SA is there much difference in religion in church and true Christianity ?

Yes, there’s a big difference because South Africans are generally religious. They believe our ancestors intercede for us with God and some even go to church occasionally. They pray and ask ancestors for provision and protection. It’s hard for them to believe we have to do nothing to receive Christ as Savior and they always have to sacrifice something or perform certain rituals for their requests to be answered. It’s very sad!

Tell us your love story with your husband ?

My husband and I met in youth, he was my youth leader he is 8yrs older than me. I have never met a more godly man, who loves me with a sacrificial type of love! He is so romantic (he writes me songs and poems to express his love for me) and I love him more today then I did yesterday. He is my best friend and we have lots of fun together. We’ve been married for 11yrs.


  How was his childhood different from yours ?

His childhood was different from mine because he grew up in a Christian home (his dad is a Pastor) with both parents. He had rules and boundaries set for him and I didn’t. I’m a “first generation christian “as they would say. I grew up with no boundaries.


 You have beautiful children;  can you introduce them to us?

Thank you
I have 3 children but raising 4. I have 2 boys (Daniel 9, Nathan 8 ) and 2 girls
(Keilah 7, Luyanda 7) Luyanda is my niece, my sister had her when she was 17yrs old and I took her so my sister could finish school. She’s been with us ever since and is part of our family.

 They are being raised not far from where you grew up but how has their childhood been different?

I’m currently homeschooling all 4 of our kids and they know both the love of a mother and father. Unlike my childhood they don’t have to provide and fend for themselves.  We teach them to depend on the Lord and they get to experience first hand the Lords goodness in providing for us as a family and his protection as we are living in an “unsafe area” with very little material wealth.   My kids are wealthy in love, joy and spiritual things. My greatest blessing is my family. I cannot thank the Lord enough for blessing me with a family.


  Thank you so much for your time and for sharing this with us.  Do you have any prayer requests for our readers?

  • Please pray for our ministry in Tembisa, SA
  • Pray for my husband Donovan, he is pastoring full time, he is in bible college and has a radio ministry.  
  • Pray for strength and wisdom. 
  •   Please pray for our vehicles they haven’t been working for a long time. (both their personal and ministry vehicles are not working which makes it so the whole family has to walk to and from church – not a short walk either)
  • Pray that my kids will grow up to love Christ and live for Him.

Stay blessed
Much love

If you have an further questions for Thando or about her ministry we would love to answer them in the comment section.

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  • 2 thoughts on “Meet Thando: An Interview from the Field

    1. Just wanted to send my greetings to our dear friends Pastor Donovan and Thando!! We love you all and are happy to see your beautiful family!!! ❤❤ May God bless you richly always!!

    2. Hi Beautiful , nice to meet you , when I met you I had know idea about your past , just always thought that you were so radiant and wholesome , your testimony proves that with Gods love, and a will nothing is impossible

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