An Advocate for the Rights of Children

“The circumstances we ask God to change are often the circumstances God uses to change us.” Meet Michelle April-Benjamin, a woman making a difference in and out of the Child Justice Court. She is our next #JewelInHisCrown. By Tamsyn Cornelius

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As the eldest of six children, Michelle grew up on the Cape Flats and spent most of her childhood between different schools and provinces, due to difficult circumstances at home. Despite the challenges she had to overcome as a young woman, today Michelle (aged 37) is proud to be a magistrate in the Child Justice Court and an ordained prophetess in her local church. She recently married Mark, after being a divorcee for three years, and she is also mom to Luke (age 4).

Michelle’s motherhood journey:

“When I found out that I was ‘with child’, it was the happiest and scariest moment, knowing that God had chosen me to rear one of His gifts.

At 12 weeks into my pregnancy, we were told that my child was at risk of being born with down syndrome and we were asked if we intended keeping him. We could not let go of what God had blessed us with and our faith did not allow us to give up. Needless to say, I gave birth to a healthy bouncing baby boy.

Motherhood is a reality check in the sense that regardless of who you are to the world out there, regardless of your accolades, to my boy I’m just ‘mom’. Motherhood taught me to prioritize, to be calculating, to be patient and to persevere no matter what.

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I’ve had my fair share of pure frustration as I became a single parent at a very challenging stage of my life. My boy became my pillar in my toughest of times. whenever I wanted to give up, I looked into those big eyes and I found renewed zeal to take on the challenges ahead. My journey seemed long at times, but my comfort was always… no matter what happens, nothing and no one can dispute the fact that God is in control!”

A legacy of women…

“After serving in various capacities, I was ordained as a prophetess in November 2017. What an indescribable experience!

I come from a lineage of women who served God without any fear. My grandma was a prophetess, a God-fearing woman who prayed over us, anointing us at five in the morning, every morning. She went on to be with the Lord.

My mom, a fierce community leader and also a God-fearing woman and firm believer of putting others first, was recently ordained as an Apostle. In fact, we were ordained together. I draw so much from her as she is the epitome of strength. At times she pushed me so hard that I thought that I would fall, only to realise that her push was a set up for my take-off. I’m so blessed to have mirrored these remarkable women, pioneers and legends in their time.

Today I am a magistrate, presiding and adjudicating cases in the Child Justice Court. Motherhood, coupled with my passion for justice, forces me to look at each child with different eyes because as our faces differ, so our stories differ.”

*This interview was first published in the Autumn 2018 issue of The Christian Lifestyle Magazine.

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