Q. Give a brief overview of your work and ministry.
A. I was named Evangeline by my parents in the hope that I would be a great evangelist for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I come from a God-fearing Christian family. There are five of us—I am the youngest and I have two elder sisters. My father was in the army and my mother is a former employee of the Municipal Corporation.
I remember when I first realized that I needed to become actively involved in ministry. My eldest sister, Catherine, found a lump on her left breast while she was in her final stages of pregnancy. We went to the doctor and had it checked out, but he said it was nothing to worry about.
Days later my sister had delivered her third child, but soon after complained of severe pain in her left shoulder that left her unable to move. We went to the same doctor, who now told my sister to stop breastfeeding her little baby from the left and have a check-up in the cancer hospital. It showed she was in an advanced stage of breast cancer.
As my sister was undergoing treatment, it was my duty to accompany and help her. After chemotherapy she would feel better and would go around the hospital sharing the gospel. I could not understand why she didn’t just rest. She said, “Chelamma [little sister], this is just an iota of what my Lord suffered, and I am thankful to him for giving me a share in his suffering. With whatever time I have left, I want to do my best.” My sister passed on and is now sleeping peacefully in our Lord.
Eventually, I finished my Inter College and progressed to degree college at St. Francis. I was a cadet of the National Social Service (NSS) and one of my projects was to adopt a slum and teach the people health and hygiene. I soon began to tell them sto¬ries from the Bible and share what my pastor had taught us in church.
One day I saw a boy who had fallen on the road; he was writhing in pain. The first thing that came to mind was to pray, so I knelt and prayed for that boy. To my surprise, when I said, “Amen,” there were two more people who said, “Amen” with me. Today, these two people are the strong pillars of our church in the slum area where I began the first church.
I later graduated from college and I went on to pursue a degree in education and a MA in management. I took a job as a teacher. With this money and some of the pocket money my parents used to give me, I continued to support my slum work. I began teaching children the basics of Christianity. God blessed the efforts and I had a small gathering, so I approached our church to appoint a pastor and establish a church. Today, the church has a full-time pastor and a congregation of one hundred with a membership of thirty-five.
The children grew in numbers and I moved from teaching under a tree to renting a room. I soon gave up my job at the school to give the children more of my time. I also hired someone to assist me. Tuitions helped to pay off the expenses. God blessed these efforts and today we have a full-fledged school with 538 students and twenty-six staff.
My next vision is to start an orphanage. (In fact, it is already functioning with thirteen children). I have spotted a piece of land, which is in the heart of the city and costs a huge amount of money. I don't have the money, but I believe the Lord shall supply all the needs according to his riches in glory.
Faith and trust in God and sincere prayers to him have been my blessing, growth, and success. So far, our school has been instrumental in establishing and supporting five churches here in Hyderabad. One such church specially ministers to the needs of people suffering with leprosy. By God's grace, we were able to expand the ministry by starting (1) a free school for underprivileged children and children of the people who suffer with leprosy and (2) a tailoring (sewing) school for the ladies. The Lord has been gracious to me all these years and through my many experiences, toils, snares, tears, threats, opposition, and financial needs I have learned to attempt great things for God and expect great things from God.
Q. What is your favorite quote?
A. “Attempt great things for God and expect great things from God.” – William Carey
Q. Who has been the most influential person in your life/ministry, and why?
A. At different stages and crossroads of my life various people played important and influential roles in my life. My parents played a vital role through their love and dedication for the Lord. A few others were my sister, Catherine, my pastor, and David and Robin Claydon, who I consider my spiritual parents.
Q. What is the best piece of advice you’ve received?
A. There is death to a person but no death to a testimony.
Q. What one issue do you believe is the greatest barrier or opportunity to evangelism, and why?
A. I would think the greatest barrier is not having the right priorities and missing out on small opportunities while waiting for big ones to come by.
Evangelism. On Point.
Q. Describe a time in which you shared your
A. A Muslim cleric (my work is mostly with
After some very tense moments, this Muslim
Q. What book do you most often recommend to others to read, and why?
A. The Bible in his or her language and a contemporary version of it. There is no book like the Bible. Every answer to every question and every solution to every problem can be found in scripture. There are other wonderful books and dedicated Christian authors, but they all point to the source—the Bible. There is nothing like knowing God himself through the Bible. John 1:1 says that the Word is God. What better can one offer than to direct those in need to the One who is their Creator and Maker and who loves and knows them better than themselves?
Q. What would you like to be doing in ten years?
A. God willing, I would like to be opening many more Sunday schools, churches, regular schools, orphanages, widow homes, and leper homes. I want to see people sitting at the feet of Jesus, singing and praising God and drawing our entire city and nation to Jesus and transforming it. It deeply pains my heart to see the literate and illiterate dancing before terrible looking idols that are dead. Jesus shed his precious blood for all of these men and women.
Q. How can people be praying for you?
A. Please read the last few paragraphs in the brief overview of my work and ministry.