Minnesotan Paul Jacobson met Eshetu at the bridge HMCHA was building over the Wadecha River in 2013. They became instant friends. Paul asked us if he could sponsor Eshetu, an orphan being raised by his uncle.
Eshetu has dreamed of becoming a doctor since the 7th grade. In Ethiopia, a series of exams at various grade levels would determine whether he would ever have that chance. At the end of 8th grade, Eshetu passed his exams and went on to high school. The first barrier was overcome.
Then came the exam at the end of 10th grade: would he go to preparatory high school? That is the only high school that would make it possible to go to college. Another barrier overcome.
The final possibility is at the end of 12th grade. Without a high score, he would not qualify to become a doctor in Ethiopia.
Sadly, Eshutu’s test scores were too low, leaving him the option of going to vocational school or getting a job.
But Eshutu is a clever young man. He devised another solution: repeat 12th grade and take the test again. That is what he has decided to do. A whole year of the same subjects taught by the same teachers. A whole year of swallowing his pride and putting his dreams on hold. That’s determination!
Eshetu has always said that he wanted to see Paul again when he graduates. It’s a surprise, but Paul is going to see his sponsored student when HMCHA travels to Ethiopia in October. We’ll report back about their reunion; sure to be a joyous one!
Here’s what Eshutu wrote to Paul before he took the exam:
Let the peace of our Lord be to you. How are your friends and families? Thanks to the Lord who gives peace to humankind, I am good. I am attending my education in good condition. If it is the will of God, I am going to take the grade 12 exam this year, and I am preparing myself for it. Because I have sufficient books, I hope I will do well. As always, I appreciate your support and prayer.
I hope I see you soon. Blessings, your student, Eshetu