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Nursing student overcomes setbacks

Friday, October 26, 2007  
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By Jacey Jacobs

Coming from Ghana, West Africa can be a complicated and even scary move, but Oklahoma Christian University nursing student, Evelyn Lomo, took this move in strides.

Although she has been through a difficult transition she still has intelligence, poise, a positive spirit and a contagious smile.

Lomo, wife and mother of two, moved from Ghana to Oklahoma in 1994 to receive a better education. Her original plans were to attend the University of Oklahoma, but she did not get into their program because she did not know French.

She first heard about Oklahoma Christian through her husband’s friends, and she decided to apply. At first, her dream was to be a dentist, but God had a different plan for her life.

“When I finished high school, we had three main universities,” Lomo said. “When you finish you have to serve the government for two years.”

She applied for the universities but says they were full and overcrowded. According to Lomo, students get into the universities through the people they know.

Lomo’s sister encouraged her to attempt to get into a school in the U.S. or Britain, a process also full of setbacks.

“I couldn’t get a Visa in Britain,” Lomo said. “I wanted to be a dentist in high school, but when I came here I noticed that it would be easier and shorter to finish school if I got into nursing. I like science so it was easier for me to switch.”

Once in Oklahoma, Lomo struggled with adjusting to the culture and missing home.

She chose to come to Oklahoma because she had family living here and felt it was a safe haven for her.

“When I first moved to Oklahoma, I didn’t like it because I missed home, but I liked the friendly people,” Lomo said. “I grew accustomed to people always saying ‘hi’ wherever you go.”

Lomo’s quest in nursing school has provided its own set of challenges. She married William Lomo of Ghana seven years ago and now has two children, Sydney, 7, and Sean, 5.

Evelyn met William in Oklahoma through her best friend’s husband.

“He is from Ghana but was going to school in England. Within a year, he moved here and we got married a year later. He now works at Hertz as a manager,” Lomo said. “I am the oldest in the class and have two kids. It’s hard, but I’m trying.”

Despite these challenges, Lomo has grown stronger. Her passion, ambition, and motivation are extremely evident in all she does. Her gratefulness for the opportunity is unmistakable.

Director of Nursing Linda Fly first met Lomo during the application process for the nursing program.

“My first impression of Evelyn was that of a student determined to succeed,” Fly said. “She is very motivated to complete her education so she can make a better life for her family.”

According to Fly, Lomo is very focused and dedicated to her studies. She values her education and seeks out every opportunity to improve.

“Lomo is not one to get distracted by social events or the latest television series,” Fly said. 

Lomo believes the opportunities here are amazing.

“You can be and do whatever you want if you have the drive. Back in Ghana, there is so much violence and corruption. It is hard, and it is one of the most peaceful places in Africa,” Lomo said. “Kids don’t know the value of what they have. They don’t even want to finish school or see a need for education.”

Lomo and her husband believe education will take them a lot of places.

Lomo has been able to grow with Oklahoma Christian and the nursing program.

The hospital component of the nursing program allows the nursing students to practice nursing care with patients.

“Evelyn cares deeply about the well-being of her assigned patients,” Fly said. “Her willingness to put the patients’ comfort ahead of her personal desires has not gone un-noticed by nurses in the area hospitals.”

Lomo recalls her first semester being very difficult, but she feels she has grown since then.

“The first semester there was a lot of crying because we didn’t know what was expected of us,” Lomo said. “Now it is more relaxing.”

Psalm 91 is Lomo’s favorite verse. It is a proven testimony in her life, and her life radiates the peace and confidence found in it.

“It’s hard and stressful here, and sometimes, I ask my husband how people are doing it without Christ,” Lomo said. “My foundation of Christ has brought me here. He has been my background.”

Lomo doesn’t know where she would be without Christ in her life. She is grateful to be used in His kingdom.

Lomo’s main goal is for God’s will to be done in her life, and she wants to go wherever He wants to take her.

“I want to do it all to help people who don’t have all the opportunities that I have had,” Lomo said. 

After graduation in April of 2008, Lomo plans on moving to Houston to attend graduate school after she works for a year. She hopes to move back to Ghana one day.

“I have freedom here, but I miss the freedom of knowing that these people are my people,” Lomo said. “I feel comfortable there.”

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