Nardos Hiruy Banjaw: A Testament to Faith, Dedication, and the Power of God’s Calling

In the heart of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, a young woman named Nardos Hiruy Banjaw embarked on a journey of faith and education that would eventually lead her to the North American Lutheran Seminary (NALS) in Ambridge, PA. Her story is a testament to the power of God’s voice, the importance of perseverance, and the transformative impact of education.

Born and raised in a devout Orthodox Christian family in Ethiopia, Nardos’ early life was deeply rooted in faith. Her grandmother, a pillar of strength and spirituality, played a significant role in shaping her beliefs. Nardos’ educational journey began in a private school established by the American Mission, where she not only received her elementary and secondary education but also developed a profound love for the English language. This love would later lead her to earn a Bachelor’s degree in English after completing her diploma in human resource management.

However, it was God’s calling that truly set the course for Nardos’ life. When Mekane Yesus Seminary (MYS) in Addis Ababa announced its Post-Graduate Diploma (PGD) program in theology, Nardos felt a divine nudge. Despite financial constraints, she enrolled in the program, trusting in God’s plan. Her faith was rewarded when MYS granted her a scholarship, allowing her to complete her PGD in Theology and subsequently her Master of Arts in Systematic Theology.

In a twist of divine providence, Nardos transitioned from being a student to an educator at MYS in a short span of time. Today, she imparts knowledge on subjects ranging from Christian Stewardship and Historical Theology to Study Methods and Children and Youth Ministry. Her commitment to education extends beyond the classroom, as she voluntarily teaches English to female theology students.

Yet, God’s voice continued to guide Nardos. While she initially sought PhD opportunities in various Lutheran Universities in the USA, it was the North American Lutheran Seminary (NALS) that welcomed her with open arms. With the support of many well-wishers, Nardos secured a scholarship from the NALS and embarked on her journey to pursue her Master in Sacred Theology (STM) degree.

Nardos’ spiritual journey is intertwined with her personal life. From her early days of singing in the chapel and attending worship programs at her mission school to her profound decision to dedicate her life to Jesus, her faith has been the guiding force. This faith also played a pivotal role in her personal life. Despite facing familial objections, Nardos married the Rev. Aschalew Sima Ashame, a youth pastor she met at church. Together, they have been blessed with five children, each a testament to God’s miracles.

Pastor Aschalew, an MA in Theology graduate from Addis Ababa Bible College, serves the Messalemya Congregation in the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesusis. Nardos describes him as not just a loving husband and father but also a strong Christian leader. In their congregation, Nardos actively serves in various roles, from youth committee coordinator to marriage counselor, showcasing her dedication to serving God and her community.

In her own words, Nardos expresses profound gratitude for the opportunities she has received, especially the scholarship from the NALS. Her journey from Addis Ababa to Ambridge is not just a tale of academic pursuit but a story of faith, dedication, and the unwavering belief in God’s plan.

Nardos’ story is a beacon of hope and inspiration for many. It underscores the North American Lutheran Church’s 20/20 Vision, emphasizing global partnerships, collaborative learning, and the power of faith. As Nardos continues her journey at the NALS, her story serves as a reminder of the transformative impact of education, the strength of faith, and the boundless possibilities that arise when one listens to God’s voice.