Myriam worked hard to support herself and keep up her studies at a state university in Cameroon. It is difficult for students in Africa to study without financial help, but Myriam was determined to get a degree and make her life count for God.
When she had become an Adventist just a few years earlier, her life had become more difficult. Her father wasn’t a Christian, and he objected to her new faith. Myriam knew she couldn’t ask her family for support. Her only hope was God.
From the first time Myriam had heard of Cosendai [koh-SEN-dai] Adventist University, she dreamed of studying there. The school was just starting; its students and teachers were pioneers. Classes were held on the campus of an Adventist secondary school several hours’ journey from the capital city of Cameroon. Myriam wondered how she could ever afford to study there, especially when she couldn’t even afford to pay her school fees at the state university. But the dream wouldn’t die. She wanted to study in an environment in which her faith would be strengthened and she could be trained to lead and serve.
Myriam completed two years of study at the state university before she was forced to drop out of school for lack of funds. She worked at whatever jobs she could find, and lived frugally so she could save every possible cent. But after one year of hard work she had managed to save only US$80. Every day she had prayed that God would make a way for her to continue her education. She knew that she had to trust God to provide a way for her. In spite of the obstacles, she applied to Cosendai Adventist University and was accepted.
Myriam couldn’t wait to tell Emily, her best friend. Myriam knew that Emily wanted to study to become a teacher. But she had no money for school fees either, and her family couldn’t afford to help her. Myriam wished she could think of some way for Emily to go with her to Cosendai. In her excitement Myriam offered to pay Emily’s enrollment fees if she would agree to enroll at Cosendai with her. Immediately Emily applied
Soon Myriam realized that her impulsive invitation was unwise. She had barely enough money to pay her own enrollment. Where would she get the money to pay Emily’s fees, too? And where would she ever get the $700 she’d need for her semester’s tuition? But Myriam wanted so much for Emily to attend school with her. She begged God to provide the money she would need.
Emily, too, was concerned about how they would pay their tuition. Finally she found the courage to ask Myriam, “How much money do you have for school?”
“I have some,” Myriam answered evasively. But Emily was not satisfied with Myriam’s answer and asked again. “We will have $200,” Myriam said thoughtfully. “And God will provide the rest.” Myriam didn’t have $200, but she trusted that God would provide.
A few days later some church members gave Myriam some money they had collected for her. And her father gave her a small amount as well. Myriam counted the money and discovered it was $200. Myriam thanked God and begged His forgiveness for ever doubting Him. Before the girls left for Cosendai, another church member gave Myriam an additional $90. Myriam’s heart surged with praise.
The girls found places to stay at the school and paid their enrollment fees and the first month’s tuition. Their home church sent them a small amount each month, and during school holidays the girls sold books door-to-door to earn their school fees. Still, they fell behind in their payments. Then Myriam became sick during school break and couldn’t work for several weeks. But God had blessed her with almost as much in the first weeks of the break as she would have earned in several more weeks.
Myriam took a job cleaning the guest rooms at the college. She sings praises to God as she scrubs floors, cleans bathrooms, and makes beds. “You are my strength and my joy, Jesus,” her sweet voice sings. And she means it with all her heart.
Myriam recently graduated from her nursing course at Cosendai. She knows God has answered her prayers in a special way. Myriam encourages Emily to trust God to do the same for her as she completes her last year of school.
Myriam Djia praises God for His goodness as she serves Him in southern Cameroon.