Many teenagers dream of becoming models, a career associated with fame, glamour, money and travel to exotic locations.
With such fantasy images in mind, people spend thousands of rands creating portfolios, paying for modelling lessons and even starving themselves to live up to the image wanted by modelling agencies.
Inspired by school beauty pageants, fashion
magazines and television images, Sandra was one of many young women who wanted to pursue a modelling career.
With her mother's support, Sandra entered the world of modelling at the age of 17.
“In spite of my Christian background, I always desired to live my own dreams and building my relationship with God was not a priority at that time,” she said.
Realising her potential, her agency signed her for several photo-shoots
and her pictures soon appeared in leading South African magazines. This opened doors to travel opportunities.
“It was a dream come true for me. I thought that God was finally answering my prayers,” said Sandra.
In spite of my Christian background, I always desired to live my own dreams and building my relationship with God was not a priority at that time
Her life took a bad turn when she started going to night clubs with friends and her behaviour affected her relationship with her family.
Just before Sandra was due to travel towards the end of 1993, she attended a UCKG service in Woodstock with her mother.
She took her portfolio to the church because she wanted to secure more modelling jobs.
“I continued attending the church services on Wednesdays and Sundays. "My relationship with God became strong and I started to understand more about the will of God concerning my life. I slowly lost interest in my modelling career and became a faithful child
of God,” she said. When Sandra terminated her
contract, she faced opposition to leaving modelling.
“The agency charged me for breach of contract. Their reaction did not discourage me. I engaged myself in chains of prayers and used my faith.
"God heard my prayers and they later dropped the charges
against me. Soon after that, I was blessed with a good job,” said Sandra. In 1994 Sandra became an assistant at the UCKG and today she is happily married to a pastor of the Universal Church. The couple have been serving God together for the past 17 years.
Encouraging young women not to forsake God's purpose for their lives, Sandra said:
“Do not compromise your Christianity and risk your salvation in order to share the temporary riches of this world. God certainly has a perfect plan in mind for you.”
By Yugendrie October
on the testimony of Sandra Ruitters da Silva