Enabled to follow God's call
Growing up as an Ethiopian refugee in Kenya, Habtam Asmeche spent a lot of time taking her mother to clinics and the hospital. These experiences were fraught with language barriers, communication challenges and a broken system, which marginalized the poor. This ignited in her a desire to become a medical doctor, which was a far-fetched dream for a girl who had very few resources and a stack of barriers before her.
Despite the challenges, Habtam was determined to better her situation with an education. “I made a list of all the Nazarene schools, and I wrote to them. I told them I was a good student and asked if there were any scholarships for someone like me. NNU wrote me back.
“When I got a scholarship, I thought, ‘I think I can still be a doctor. I don’t have a passport; I don’t have a plane ticket; I don’t have a birth certificate to get a passport or a country to get a passport from. I don’t know how I’m going to do it, but I think I’m going to do it.’”
Of her NNU experience, she reflects, “The fact that NNU encourages people to be socially responsible, to have Christ-like character, to be academically excellent—it meant so much to have those shared foundations. I can’t even express what NNU means to me.”
In 2013, Habtam graduated from NNU with a Bachelor of Science in Biology. Although she couldn’t immediately apply for medical school since she didn’t have a green card, she stayed close to her passion by working as a medical translator for local hospital systems. She came full circle by translating specifically for refugees. “God came before me. He put the same factors in place that I had in the beginning when I had to interpret for my mom.”
On January 13, 2015—the same date that in 2007 she had submitted her transcripts to NNU in a dirt-floored cyber café in Kenya—Habtam went to an interview with University of Washington School of Medicine. She started school there in August.
We invite you help more students like Habtam follow God’s call by making a gift to the NNU University Fund. It is truly one of the best investments you can make. Visit nnu.edu/give to support students in becoming God’s creative and redemptive agents.