‘Jesus Runner’ on way to Jerusalem

2016-04-26 06:00
Andrew Hoffman says running keeps him away from the bottle and he is glad to spread the message of God through his running and telling his life story so that other people can make wiser choices. PHOTO: TIYESE JERANJI

Andrew Hoffman says running keeps him away from the bottle and he is glad to spread the message of God through his running and telling his life story so that other people can make wiser choices. PHOTO: TIYESE JERANJI

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Andrew Hoffman (68) from Wynberg says running has given him hope to live again.

He was given only three years after his liver and other organs were damaged because of alcohol.

Dubbed the Jesus Runner, Andrew has lived three more decades to tell his story.

At the age of 38, he was told he only had three years to live. The father of two says his darkest moment was when he was lying hopelessly in hospital.

“I was told of my condition. It was terrible. I was so helpless and didn’t know what to do.”

After being told he would be dead in three years, he saw no point of staying in hospital and discharged himself.

“I went straight to the bar to get a drink,” he remembers. “I was given a death sentence. I was hopeless. There was nothing to live for, so I just continued to drink because I was going to die anyway. I could feel the effects of the alcohol, but I was in denial. Even my hands where cramping.”

Being a fit and active person in his youth and working in the navy, Andrew never thought that drinking a lot would affect him that much.

He started drinking when he was 18.

As time went by he started drinking stronger liquor. “When I started drinking I was doing well. I though drinking didn’t affect me. We drank all the time. It was a social thing with my friends. Little did we know that we were killing ourselves.

“When you weren’t out drinking, you felt lonely. To make it even worse they would bet who would drink the most and who would be the last man standing. I always wanted to perform better than everyone else, so I drank a lot. I was always the last man standing after everyone else has passed out,” he says.

Hoffman says his mother was distraught.

“At that moment I didn’t know how much my mother was praying for me. I believe her prayers were a turning point in my life.”

He vividly remembers how his mom loved him and prayed for him all the time. Before her death she gave him a Bible and told him not to open it until she had died.

“I did as I was told. I took it and placed it on the top of my wardrobe and forgot about it. One day it was a little cold, so I looked for a blanket. As I pulled out the blanket, the Bible fell off. I opened it and saw how my mother wrote in the scriptures and prayed for me. I saw my whole life in there, and from that moment I told myself never will I go back to the bottle again.

“To stop the drinking I started running, and prayed. It wasn’t easy, but with time I managed to stop drinking completely. Now my mission is to spread the word of God through running and telling my story.”

He has his eye on Jerusalem where he will run with a unity flag. His friends and family are helping him raise the R35 000 that he needs, but he still needs more.

“I’m grateful for the support. I don’t have enough funds yet to determine when I will be going, but I will as soon as I have enough money. I want to spread the Word and give hope to others that alcohol is not the solution and you can turn your life around.”


Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.