45 years ago I was born to Reverend Sam and Pastor Sangitha Owdbehari. I was named “Samantha” which in English means “listener” but in Greek means “Lord has heard”. My parents were most emphatically sold out to Jesus as they served the Master at Turning Point Ministries in Port Shepstone for almost 40 years. They literally lived on faith and prayer and most days our cupboards would be empty, but we witnessed how God miraculously provided for us. My siblings and I vowed never to get involved in ministry. Surviving poverty, ridicule and disdain I was determined to improve my circumstances and through a scholarship I managed to graduate as an educator. Almost four years ago my dad went to be with Jesus but prior to that he went into cardiac arrest and was resuscitated after 35 minutes. We were told he didn’t get oxygen to the brain during that time and would be brain dead but he was able to tell us that he saw Jesus and spoke to Jesus. I was a child of God all my life but at that particular moment Jesus became even more real to me.
I always felt so unworthy as growing up I had a very low self esteem and I had made countless bad decisions for my life. I became a victim of domestic abuse and each day I would tell myself that the next day would be better. When you love someone with all your heart it’s not easy to let go. I learned that you should never make anyone feel like you can’t live without them because reality is that the only person you can’t live without is God.
Isaiah 43:2 became my driving force. Living with a narcissist was a nightmare but I grew to realise that although I could not control every situation and outcome, I could control my attitude and how I dealt with the situation I put myself in. At one point I felt like God hated me for being so naive but I later realised that the pain I was enduring God was slowly turning into my platform to reach out to others in similar situations. After knowing that my life was in danger I knew that the only way I was going to survive was if God made a way. When I was eventually set free from the shackles of fear, misery and betrayal I had to deal with the gossip. The community had known for years that I had endured a plethora of affairs, that he had had yet they still whisphered their remarks and smirked behind my back. At that point I had endured too many storms to concern myself over a drop of rain.
After dad’s passing there was such a powerful calling on my life and I was ordained into full-time ministry.
A part of me still doubted myself yet there were people admiring my tenacity. It was these same people that invited me onto their platforms to minister. Before I knew it I was ministering on international platforms and on television. Every step of my journey God kept validating me. God doesn’t call the qualified. He qualifies the called. That’s precisely what He did for me.
After being interviewed on a radio station where I shared my testimony I was instantaneously taken on as a radio creative where I currently have my own show called TURNING POINT WITH SAMANTHA LEE on radio OCHRIO.
My story has graced national and international magazines and I have been interviewed on REAL TALK on Channel of Hope TV.
God took my mess and turned it into my message. Today I use my testimony to help youngsters make correct decisions. I am actively involved in rescuing and relocating victims of gender based violence and the South African Outreach and Emergency Services have taken me under their wing as the base leader for the South Coast.
I cannot erase my past but I can make the best of my future. One thing I love about God is that He will rescue you from situations you got yourself into and will continue loving you. God is faithful. He’s loving God.
Author Pastor Samantha-Lee Samlall.