Tich was a South African sports star who lost it all to alcohol. Joan had recently lost her husband. Their lives were at rock bottom when grace showed up and inspired these two middle-class South Africans to move past the racial prejudices of the Apartheid era and launch a ministry together.
Tich Smith grew up in a white middle class home in Johannesburg. and went to university in Pietermaritzburg. He played rugby for Natal at the age of 19 and cricket for Natal and South Africa. He had everything anyone could wish for, but ended up in a home for alcoholics at the age of 35. Tich gave his life to Jesus in 1986 and chose to walk His way. In 1991 he met and married Joan, who had lost her first husband, and out of the ashes of their lives, God brought them together for His purposes.
Tich worked for Sanlam from 1987 – 1992. In 1992 he started Tich Smith & Associates, and TSA Administration (Pty) Ltd in 1997. His son, Greg, joined him in the business in 2001 and now runs the business.
In 2008, Tich and Joan felt the call of God to start the Lungisisa Indlela village (LIV), which would become the urgently needed residential facility, for orphaned and vulnerable children. They visited the Watoto villages in Uganda where they saw 19 years of successfully transforming broken lives. The vision was the same. They brought the model back to KwaZulu Natal.