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CBN.com Sylvie Nyamuka’s life of lights, glitz, and glamour began at an early age.
As a young teenager living in Brussels, a photographer spotted her on the streets and entered her in a major modeling competition involved hundreds of contestants.
To her surprise, Sylvie won.
Shortly after, leading modeling agencies and designer houses took her on fashion tours around the world. First, Japan…
“After Japan, I went to Italy, and [it] was my first contact with the reality of the fashion industry,” Sylvie recalls.
Milan and Paris soon followed. Sylvie was on her way to becoming an established in-house model for some of the biggest names in the fashion world. Her numerous clients included major name brands such as Versace, Chanel, Gucci, and a host of other leading designers. Her introduction to the fashion world was not without challenges -- long hours, loneliness, temptation to use drugs, and constant overtures from men.
She explains, “One day they say, ‘What a beautiful girl!’ The second day they don’t even look at you.”
Being the face of an agency or a fashion designer meant constantly being transformed into whatever was in style.
“At the beginning it’s nice,” she says. “You’re young, you have success, you earn money. It was the goal. When you get alone in your room, you start thinking, Who am I?”
To help deal with the many rigors of the modeling profession, Sylvie Nyamuka says she began talking to God, asking for His leading and His guidance.
“I was talking to God a lot when I was in Paris. I was on my own.”
It was those solitary times of prayer alone on the street that gave Sylvie the strength to deal with the many challenges she faced in the fashion world. Many times she says she felt as if Jesus was walking right next to her.
She says, “I was alone, but I wasn’t alone.”
Sylvie’s quiet moments of prayer and her relationship with God ended after she began an affair with a married man she met while working in Paris.
“I couldn’t explain to myself at the time, but I was struggling. I was really in a golden cage. I was with this man so I wasn’t with Jesus anymore.”
Almost a year later Sylvie says she had a wake-up call.
“When I went back home, I went in front of the mirror, and I said, ‘Sylvie, you don’t look good. There’s something wrong with you.’ So it was the beginning. I think it was an open door for the Lord to start to speak to me.”
She accepted a friend’s invitation to visit a church in Brussels.
That day Sylvie experienced a turning point in her life. She made a decision to end the relationship she was involved in.
She walked away from the life that she had become accustomed to and dedicated her life to Jesus Christ.
“I will continue to work with Jesus because I know exactly the dirt where I’m coming from,” says Sylvie. “Some of the people don’t know. They don’t realize when you’re coming really from that, from the dark, you appreciate the light.”
Sylvie is still a fashion model, but her priorities and her focus has changed.
She knows nothing compares to the newfound peace, joy, and happiness she’s found in Jesus Christ.
“I’ve very thankful to God that I went through this because I know what is the light, and I know what is the dark. I’m walking in the light.”
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