As a founding member of Friends of Du Bois University of Africa (named after the 20th century civil rights activist W.E.B. Du Bois), Tabita Vacareanu ′09 and fellow Messiah students share their testimonies with churches and communities willing to listen to how God provided education for them through the generosity of others.
“We have been blessed with education at Messiah and would like to pass on the blessing to other students. As a way to praise God back for what is offered to us, we call on others to contribute financially and materially to a unique university project in Ghana,” said Tabita.
Years ago, Tabita would not have been comfortable leading an effort of this scale and attributes her newfound confidence to the advice of Messiah’s faculty and students to get involved. “Professors invited me to events and encouraged me to take a leading role,” she said. “And the warm welcome and outpouring of love the ISA MuKappa [international students association] students gave me was overwhelming.”
This summer, while visiting the Romanian orphanage where her journey to Messiah College began (see full story below), Tabita revealed her complete transformation. Following a 30-minute presentation to the group on her American educational experience Tabita said, “I’ve surprised myself. I never would have spoken so freely in the past. It made me realize how much Messiah has prepared me to step out into the world and to be strong.”
Read more about Tabita’s determination to earn an education in communist Romania
As one of five children from a working class Romanian home, Tabita could have followed the path of her parents and siblings by obtaining a minimum degree of schooling, then working the land, or in local factories.
Instead, seeing education as a way out, 10-year-old Tabita agreed to perform odd jobs in exchange for tuition assistance at a local, private Christian school. Years later, her work led to the local orphanage – tutoring, preparing meals, and providing emotional support to the women and children. It was there that Tabita met and formed a lifelong friendship with American medical missionary Robert Zimmerman who, along with two other American families, sponsored her emigration. “He [Robert] told me, ‘God has put it on my heart to bring you to Messiah College’,” recalls Tabita. “And I believe he was right.”
Posted on May 28th, 2008