Evangeline “Vangie” Claassen is a school administrator with Mission Aviation Fellowship at the Hillcrest School in Sentani, Papua, Indonesia. This past term she has been serving as the elementary and middle school principal as well as teaching where needed in Bible, science, social studies, and health class. Vangie has also filled in for a teacher on furlough at the three-room school in Wamena. “I love seeing my students learn and grow, especially in the knowledge of Jesus Christ,” Vangie says.
Vangie was born in Mountain Lake, Minnesota, and grew up in Congo, Africa, where her parents served as missionaries. During family devotions when she was six years old, she accepted the Lord as her personal Savior. Growing up in a third-world environment, Vangie saw the great needs around her. She served overseas for four short-term assignments in various countries and in several capacities before joining MAF as a career staff missionary.
Following high school, Vangie attended Grace University in Omaha, Nebraska, where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Christian Education and Music. She continued her education at Grace College in Winona Lake, Indiana, and received a degree in Elementary Education. In 2005, she earned a Master’s of Science in Education, with an emphasis on international students, from Cairn University in Pennsylvania.
A favorite verse of Vangie’s is Colossians 1:28 (NASB), “And we proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, that we may present every man complete in Christ.” She says, “I like this verse because it is important not only to teach the academic subjects, but also to teach Christ so that, to the greatest extent possible, the students mature in Him.”