“He has made everything beautiful in His time. (Eccles 3:11)
July 2017 Cape Town, South Africa
Dear Evangeline Ministries Friends:
An Evangeline Ministries Graduation is truly a celebration of beauty!
Our Graduation, held on Saturday July 2, 2017, was no exception! Eighteen students
received their certificates and sewing machines after successfully completing their
For the first time, our venue platform was decorated by one of the graduates and this
gave the ceremony an extra special touch. The fabric draped across the platform
created a beautiful background for the students to model their always colorful and
stunning traditional garments. However, even more lovely, were their faces- radiant with
the confidence and hope they attained during the past six months. Yes, God has made
everything beautiful in His time!
(photos by Louise de Waal)
Confident and hopeful were not the words used when these eighteen graduates, part
of an original twenty-four student body, came to Evangeline Ministries six months ago.
(We are hoping to graduate another three who are still working on their requirements.)
The frustration these disadvantaged students felt was seen in their faces and heard in
Sanga described her life in a small shack with
five siblings and a one- month old daughter. “I
knew I wanted to change my life,” she said.
Kholiwe told us: “It was not nice staying home
Of the twenty-four students, none was fully employed, and only three had passed their
high school equivalency. Several battled significant health and emotional issues such
as HIV, liver disease, asthma, poor eye sight, depression, recent loss of children and
abuse. These students are typical of what many in the township face.
As teachers, we had to deal with wide cultural, spiritual and learning diversity. and it
was not easy. In the light of the challenges we all faced, it was beautiful to see both
students and teachers determined to succeed. “This has not been an easy journey for
me but I have made it to the end,” said Noluthando.
Now with great faith in the God who loves them, and with the door of opportunity
opened to them, they leave us to begin putting their skills to good use. “I plan to learn
more about sewing,” Sanga said. “Evangeline has empowered and changed my life for
the better.” Kholiwe, said. “Now I can make my children and myself nice clothes. I also
learned here to respect other people’s cultures.” “From now on, my life will not be the
same,” said Ellisy. I plan to make clothes for children which I think will help children in
“I came here without knowing anything,” said Ellisy.
“It was my first time to even touch the computer.”
“I knew I wanted to change my life,”
our community.” “I am thinking of teaching other women this skill at a later stage,” said
For Titos, our lone male graduate, with some small
business experience, this course was literally a lifesaver.
He is unable to do work that requires long
hours and endurance because of a medical
condition. “This course gave me hope in life and
brought me closer to God,” he said. He will join our
team to help us with weekly supplies. He also plans
to sew to earn income to buy an embroidery
machine to make embroidered cloths popular in his
Our 2016 graduate Malise was one of several former
graduates who encouraged the students at Graduation.
Now designing, manufacturing and selling her own bags,
Malise is starting to do the same with garments. She
brought her son Constant Jr who modelled a down,
puffer, winter jacket for school that she made for him!
In what was a wonderful surprise, a local Christian financier invested in each of the women to
purchase materials. This is in addition to the sewing machine that each of the students receive
when they graduate. He has also selected four of the graduates in whom he sees potential for
greater things and will work with them to set up their businesses. One of those is Melody who
decorated the Chapel for Graduation.
A beautiful surprise!
Without a doubt, the most moving and memorable part of the graduation for me was a
statement of faith where I least expected it.
Every day the teachers and I share the love of
Jesus with our students. Many come with strong
faith, some with no faith, and most with little
knowledge of the Bible. For the first time, we
had students of other faiths. This called even
more for the wisdom of the Holy Spirit to know how to teach and what to say. The first delight
was that all of our students stayed in the Bible and Life’s Lessons course. To my amazement,
at Graduation, one of our students of another faith shared publicly about the effect Life’s
Lessons had on her. “These lessons taught me a lot about God,” she said. “I learned how
much God loves me.” I had no idea as I taught that this was happening. The Holy Spirit was at
work and my heart overflowed. That testimony was beautiful to my ears and heart!
Yes, God has made everything beautiful in His time!
. “These lessons taught me a lot about God,” she
said. “I learned how much God loves me.”
How privileged we are, and each one of you who share in this ministry to “the least of
these”, to see God at work in the lives of those whom we serve and who you so
graciously and generously support. Without you we could not do this.
Evangeline Ministries continues to ask for your financial and prayer support as we teach
women about God’s great love for them and empower them with Sewing, Computer and
basic English Skills. These as well as a healthy lunch are given to them free of charge.
Once they complete their requirements, they are awarded certificates and new Sewing
machines. Please continue to help us enrich the lives of so many needy people. We
would love to hear from you!
Sincerely in Christ
Dr. Wendy Ryan (PhD Honoris Causa)