July 3, 2017

Word of thanks from Mercy House

Dear Hetty and “Bags of Hope” Friends

Thank you so much for visiting the shelter last Saturday.

We are so grateful to you for remembering our clients in such a special way. Thank you for your concern and care.

The women – and the staff members –  love the bags and really appreciate the gifts they contain. The children were so happy with their teddies.

Some of the women are so traumatized, and when they meet concern and love such as you brought them, they can hardly believe that someone cares enough to show extra kindness.

Thank you very much for the visit, the bags of hope and for being the face of love and caring for these women.

God bless you all.

Best wishes

Sr Colleen Wilkinson


25 March 2017  saw the Bag Angels dropping off handbags at 3 shelters in Pretoria – Potters house, Mercy house and Beth Shan.  As always we came back blessed beyond what we can explain.  Below are the thoughts of two new Bag Angels, Mbali and Tania.


“The Bags of Hope ministry gives abused and neglected women back their dignity, beauty and joy by caring for their feminine needs. New or gently used hand bags are filled with various gifts by the (all women) Bags of Hope team and are then distributed to various women’s shelters around Gauteng.

I believe that one touch of the love of Jesus has the power to bring healing, restoration and salvation to a life, and the Bags of Hope ministry opens the door and sows the seed for lost and rejected women to experience God’s loving touch.

My life has been changed and blessed forever from being a part of these vital missions because it has made me more aware of the wounded places and people in our society. My hope for each woman who receives a bag is that the seed sowed by the Bags of Hope ministry may help them enter into God’s plan and purpose for their lives and for them to remember to remain in him.

“Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”” Matthew 28: 8-20


This was my first introduction to 4 incredible beautiful women on a gracious generous journey to give some joy to abused and distressed women and their children.

Hetty the owner and teacher of a pre-school nursery school called Peter Wabbit is the ring leader of this gang of incredible people. She made sure all bags were packed and ready, water bottles were provided and all toys were taken for the children. Hetty even looked after here gang and provided us all will food, snacks and drinks.

Karen’s bright talented daughter Ashleigh navigated and baked us all healthy brownies – she’s studying to become a dietician. She is the organiser and made sure that all the bags had all the goodies provided for the women we were about to visit and that the car was packed with all needed contents.

Karen comes from a nursing back ground and is the mainstay of the group, forever kind, gentle and wise, as well as our driver.

Mbali a teacher as well, a well-grounded beautiful young lady made the children and ladies at the shelters feel special, heard, and seen. What a special lady.

I will say that as pleasant as the company was and our stop at Irene Farm for yummy scones and coffee this trip was a rude awakening for me. It was tough to see. The need for these shelters is unfortunately rife and the amount of woman abused and distressed is disturbing to say the least. Karen put it well in the car when we were returning from Pretoria – these woman have no-where else to go and no family and friends to turn to. How alone this must feel. I pray that they all  find their way and return safely to their families.

When we arrived at each shelter and walked in with all the bags, water bottles and children’s’ toys you could see the excitement and anticipation on everyone’s faces, it was such a pleasure to be part of a team that brings such thoughtful pleasure to people who literally have none or very little. There was even more excitement when everyone was told that there are also gifts in the handbags, which were unwrapped and received with great pleasure and gratitude. The ladies even made sure the house mothers got a handbag as a thank you for their diligent hard work.

What a thoughtful and useful initiative.

I look forward the next trip with bags of hope!

Thank you, ladies.

Tania Gil

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