‘Jasmin has shown us the true way to live like Jesus.’ (Mark Coupe, UK Christian Bikers)
Rarely have I felt so proud of another person’s achievement. One week ago, this remarkable woman was in intensive care in hospital, in the Philippines. Today, amazingly, she mustered the prayerful energy and resolve to attend a graduation ceremony, alongside her classmates, to collect her professional teachers’ certificate. Hers has been an incredible journey to get this far. It started when, as a small child living in abject poverty on a jungle mountainside, she took on responsibility to take care of her siblings. In later years, in spite of her impressive achievements at school, she sacrificed her own education to support her younger sister’s instead.
Six years ago, whilst now working hard at all hours to support her own children, she resigned from her job to prevent other workers being made redundant. By a miracle of God, however, it opened up an unexpected opportunity for her to study after all, at a university for the poor. She prayed and seized the chance with both hands. The uniquely passionate, visionary and principled example she set for tutors and other students led her quickly to be elected as Student President, a high-pressured and time-consuming role that, nevertheless, created a platform to transform the university culturally and physically. At times, her integrity stance cost her dearly.
The Covid-19 lockdown extended her course by more than a year. Just as she was entering the final stage, a terrifying super-typhoon hit the area where she lives and completely shattered her home. She and her children were forced to squat in a nearby building, whilst she pressed on with her studies with only intermittent power and patchy internet access. Other people were affected badly too. She (quietly) gave away her own laptop to another poor student and then somehow, astonishingly, managed to complete her classes, research and assignments, all on the tiny screen of a mobile phone. She did the same throughout her entire licensure studies too.
Jasmin – your humble and courageous example is a true inspiration in this world. Congratulations!!
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