Preacher’s life story carries message of hope

Razano Paul Peters with a copy of his book.

A Hanover Park evangelist and motivational speaker, who was left with severe physical and learning disabilities after being knocked over by a car as a 3-year-old, has written his life story to give others hope.

Razano Paul Peters, 30, better known as Paul, hopes his autobiography, Coming into the Light, will help others, especially those going through difficult times.

The idea for the book took root in 2014, he says.

“I told someone my story, and she encouraged me to write a book. I told her that I am too shy. I also told God if another person asks me to share my story, then I’ll know it came from Him. One day, I went to church and someone asked me to share my story with the youth there. Then I knew it was from God.”

His mother, Shanaaz Arendse, says the accident left her son with severe brain trauma. He is a spastic paraplegic. Despite this, and with the help of his mother, he started writing.

“It took Paul four years to write his life story. He can only type with one finger,” she says. I assisted by helping him piece his story together, and we also did a lot of research about his condition. For example, I was told he had cerebral palsy, but now we know this is not so. He suffered a traumatic brain injury.”

The book’s title was inspired by a memory Mr Peters recalls upon emerging from a coma.

“While I was in a coma, someone showed me three doors – red, yellow and white – and he said I must choose a colour door. I chose yellow because, to me, it represents life and hope.”

Despite the gloomy doctors’ reports, which suggested Mr Peters would live in a vegetative state, his mother refused to give up on him.

“I had no time to feel sorry for myself. Yes, it was a shock and a traumatic experience, and it took me a while to grieve the old Paul and embrace the new Paul. However, I made a decision to fight for him. He had almost no muscle movement and lost all his speech. When he came out of the coma, I asked him to wink if he understood what I said. When he did that, I knew Paul was still very much inside that body.”

Mr Peters can only type with one finger, and it took him four years to write his book, Coming into the Light.

Ms Arendse says the book is a good one for families to read together.

“The book is not only about his struggles, but it has a lot of motivation and advice. It is for everybody who is facing challenges. His testimony will give others hope.”

Mr Peters was born in Johannesburg, where he and his family – his parents and brother – lived for many years, before moving to Durban, and, in December 2019, the family moved to Cape Town.

The book was self-published in December last year, and is available at R120. Contact Mr Peters at 071 575 5252, or Ms Arendse at pathwaybuzz@gmail.com or 079 376 2404. The book, as well as an audio version, is also available from Amazon.