I have accepted that God loves me

Thanks for your massive and informative responses to my column on religion and thanks for not attempting to convince me of anything.

Thanks for your massive and informative responses to my column on religion and thanks for not attempting to convince me of anything.

I must emphasise that I belong to the school of thought that says people must be free to make their own choices, without fear, persuasion, favour or prejudice.

God has revealed Himself to me many times before, in many different and special ways.

I don't think there are many people who have survived an oxygen mask three times in their lifetime as a consequence of HIV-Aids complications and continue to live to tell their amazing stories as I have been privileged to do.

There are many instances I can quote, including the fact that I have been shot at close range and survived.

Thirdly, when I was only 14 years old I was in a coma when I was taken into the operating theatre at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital for an urgent appendix operation.

As you know there are very few who have lived for 17 years with HIV, 16 of which were without any form of medication whatsoever.

In fact, this is exactly the point that I keep making.

My faith in God is not prescriptive. In other words, I do not need to read, believe or know the Bible to trust that God is alive and that He is a Superior Being.

My grandmother is in her late 90s, has never been to church and can neither read nor write, but she believes in God and maintains a healthy relationship with God.

For instance, I communicate directly with God. We talk, we laugh, we cry, we worry and most times we fight because I despise the pain that children are going through in this life, as we know it.

But I am always thankful for my life, with everything else that goes with it, for it is a profound privilege just to live.

The only instruction He ever gave me was "never ask me for anything because I might disappoint you if you don't get it when you want it", which is why I amalways thankful.

My faith in God is independent of the Bible, of any church or any other form of teaching. My faith in God is personal and no individual can judge or make any pronouncements in terms of the correct way to honour and to worship or even to determine one way of keeping a relationship with God.

There have been several times when I wanted to die, especially when Nkosi Johnson died and he was followed by another lesser-known child, Phephile, of Port Shepstone, who was raped and infected with HIV.

I was heartbroken and despondent. My infected soul was bleeding.

During that horrible period in my life I could not fathom the loss of such wonderful and innocent children because I adored them so much and I had done so much to alleviate their traumatic pain and untold suffering.

In my conversation with God I accused Him of disliking me because I wanted to be with Him. I was sick and tired of this life as we know it.

I understand and have accepted that God loves me because I am the worst sinner and also because my mission has not been accomplished.