For many people, the holiday season is considered the most wonderful time of the year, as families and friends partake in special holiday festivities and share traditions. Many also delight in volunteering for special causes or sharing gifts with those less fortunate.
That special cause crosses international boundaries for Fort Davis artist Paula Evans, who responded to God’s call in a spirit of compassion, and whose heart is set on making children from poverty-stricken countries like Uganda smile again. She volunteers her time at a children’s orphanage there.
Evans last traveled to Uganda in October. She was not only able to lend a helping hand, but also to see the direct results of her charitable actions through her non-denominational, nonprofit ministry, Hidden Manna Ministries, nestled in the Davis Mountains.
Evans relocated to Fort Davis from Ohio in 2003, where she taught art at the University of Akron. She also managed a print shop, and worked in art and graphic design for many years. Gowing up, her love of art as a career was not taken very well.
“I always wanted to be an artist, but my mother said that artists starve. She said I could be a teacher or a nurse,” recalled Evans. “But I took some art classes as part of my elementary education degree, and I loved it!”
Evans’ Fort Davis studio, Acts 2 Design, is right next to her house. Evans works in any medium except watercolor, and her favorite media are stained glass, woodwork, and resin. Earlier this month, Evans displayed her intricate artwork at the Alpine Country Christmas bazaar held at Big Bend Cowboy Church.
Through Hidden Manna Ministries, Evans collaborates with a local minister from an orphanage in Uganda, and helps with various charitable service projects for children in need. Back home in Fort Davis, Evans is involved with several community assistance activities, although the focus is on ministry work abroad.
In Fort Davis, Evans put together Christmas bags filled with ornaments, gifts, and baked goods, to be distributed to volunteers at the Food Pantry of Jeff Davis County and to residents in need. Evans and other volunteers keep busy throughout the year providing food and clothing assistance.
Evans enjoys living in Fort Davis, and being part of a worthwhile ministry, as well as engaging in community service projects with other volunteers.
“I love this area, and I feel like I am a part of it now,” said Evans. “A lot of people have been here for generations, and I love people, so it’s a blessing to me to be able to pray for them, help them, and do whatever I need to do around here, and wherever we are called to go.”