On April 17, 15 students became the very first BYU-Pathway class in Ethiopia, making them pioneers for their families and their country
At the beginning of 2023, about a year after returning from his mission, Matewos Rundasa received an unusual text message from his district president asking for his BYU-Pathway Worldwide account information. Matewos was confused because BYU-Pathway hadn’t arrived in their home country of Ethiopia yet;, however he had made an account in anticipation of its arrival.
When Matewos asked his branch president why he needed the information, he responded, because BYU-Pathway is starting in Ethiopia in two weeks. Matewos was stunned. He, along with many returned missionaries, had waited years for this news.
“I felt the Spirit so strongly. I couldn’t believe it. I was very, very happy, and I was excited. BYU-Pathway is a blessing for most of us because we need help, and it does help us — those who can’t help themselves.”
On April 17, Ethiopia became the newest of over 180 countries to be a part of BYU-Pathway. Matewos and his 14 classmates became pioneers for their families and their country.
BYU-Pathway is a blessing for most of us because we need help, and it does help us — those who can’t help themselves.
Answer to prayers
BYU-Pathway’s arrival in the country marks a exciting moment of hope, explained Tasara Makasi, BYU-Pathway’s international area manager of East and Central Africa.“Many members of the Church have eagerly waited for this moment. I am so excited that members and friends of the Church in Ethiopia can now access the blessings of education through BYU-Pathway.”
Student Yenealem Debebe Hailu explained how much BYU-Pathway meant to her.“Being part of the BYU-Pathway program has blessed me with the knowledge of how much Heavenly Father is thoughtful of His children and concerned about them getting an education. I have seen that [this program] is inspired by God.”
Both Matewos and Yenealem found the combination of spiritual and temporal learning at BYU-Pathway precious and uplifting. For Matewos, having the spirit is the key to making sense of any subject.
“If I only increase my physical knowledge, and I don’t know about spiritual things, then it won’t make sense. If I know where I am going spiritually then I can increase my faith and keep God’s commandments.”
Finally, Matewos's search was over. “Now, I have hope.”
The whole nation of Ethiopia now has access to the blessings of a divinely inspired and directed program designed to enable deep spiritual, personal, and financial growth. What has started as a small class of 15 students will begin to expand to all those who, like Matewos, are looking for hope.
The first Ethiopian PathwayConnect group — which includes Matewos, Yenealem, and their 13 classmates — just completed their first term in June, and they are currently completing their second term.