“Josiah is one of the most
joyful & hopeful people
that I’ve met in Mwapona.
He has experienced
the love of God at such
a deep level, that it
just flows out of him.”
Josiah’s parents separated when he was 8 years old & Josiah lived with his mother most of his life.
Josiah & his mom have had a complicated relationship throughout the years.
Growing up in poverty, there was a lot of tension around the subject of money in his household.
Since Josiah was financially dependent upon his mother, it caused a lot of arguments.
At times, Josiah would get kicked out of the house & would go stay with his father or at a friend’s house.

“Growing up, I felt like
I was alone a lot.

If I ever did something wrong
or made a mistake,

my parents did not support me
throughout the hard times.”
When Josiah was in the 7th grade, he got very sick & spent a lot of time in & out of the hospital. Until, eventually, the doctors were able to figure out what was wrong with him & diagnosed him with type 1 diabetes. Living with type 1 diabetes anywhere in the world brings about its fair share of challenges. For Josiah, the treatment has been very difficult to obtain, and expensive when not accessible at the general hospital.
Josiah’s mom couldn’t afford
to pay for both Josiah’s medical
expenses & his school fees.
With no other option,
Josiah was forced to stop
going to school in grade 9,
so that he could receive the
life-saving medicine that he needed.
Being out of school provided Josiah with a lot of free time.
He became part of a bad friend group & started making poor decisions
like doing drugs, drinking alcohol & getting in fights with his peers.
Some of his bad choices during this time would end up affecting the rest of his life.
Towards the end of 2018, Josiah found out that he had impregnated his girlfriend.

It was around this same time that Josiah was invited by a friend
to come to Poetice youth for the first time.

“I was nervous about how a church
would receive someone like me.
Yet, the people at Poetice
welcomed me as I was.
They didn’t look at the person
I was or the decisions I was making,
instead, they saw the abundance
of love God had for me.”
Josiah kept coming back to
Poetice youth & became more
& more involved. He started
attending learning communities,
Bible studies, & sought out
a discipleship relationship
with one of the Poetice
staff members, Brad Howells.
Almost every event or opportunity
that Poetice offered,
Josiah came to. He was clearly
hungry for this new life with Jesus.
Then, in February of 2019,
Josiah’s son, John was born.
After he became a father,
Josiah knew that he wanted
to keep growing.
In 2020, Josiah applied to be a part of
Poetice’s School of Justice + Mission & was accepted.

“The school was so awesome.
It built my true identity in Christ. Before the school,
I didn’t know the direction of my life & I wasn’t sure exactly
what God was calling me into.”
During his time in the school, Josiah learned that the Lord was calling him to become a volunteer with the Poetice Adult Ministry Team & to go pray for the sick at the local hospital. Josiah was also discovering that God can use his story to help encourage others who are encountering similar situations of sickness, poverty, & separated families. Josiah has discovered that God can use everything that he has passed through to encourage & relate to others in powerful ways.

In his heart, Josiah desires to see others
experience the same transformation that he has received.

Today, Josiah is showing the people in his community that you can have hope when you walk with Jesus. His life has drastically changed since he met Jesus, & many people in his life have taken notice.
Josiah’s girlfriend, Sandra has witnessed the transformation in Josiah’s life & it’s propelled change within her as well. She is now fully immersed in our Poetice family & is even enrolled in our 2021 Intensive Training program. Together, they are committed to pursuing a Godly relationship with each other.

“I grew up in a divided household & things were always more complicated because of that. Fathers in my community aren’t commonly involved in their children’s lives. I don’t ever want my child to feel like they are alone in anything. I will always be there to teach & lead my family towards Jesus.”

Now that Josiah is financially independent,
the tension between him & his mother has improved a lot.

“The way the people of Poetice have shown me love has begun to change the way I love my mom. I’ve shown her the love & care that I’ve been shown. Our relationship has gotten so much better because of it.”
Many others with similar life circumstances would have given up
on trying to improve themselves or pursue a better life.

Josiah didn’t.

He doesn’t see his environment or community
as hopeless, but far from it.

“I have spent a lot of years of my life feeling like I can only depend on myself. Now I have incredible friends & my Poetice family around me to show love & support me, it’s been a miracle to me. I believe that having these people around me is a miracle, & that healing isn’t the only kind of miracle.”

As a bright light in his community, Josiah fights to make daily choices
to pursue goodness, seek justice, & carry hope to those around him.

Josiah’s story is far from over.

We can’t wait to see how God is going to continue
to use him in his community for the Kingdom.