Proving the adage ‘hard work brings prosperity’
Adeeba Evans poses for a picture with her family at her retirement party. From left is Nora, Younathan, Adeeba, Brenda, and Tanya.
Adeeba Evans lives by the famous proverb, “hard work brings prosperity.” She recently retired after working 25 years at Loma Linda University School of Nursing. However, her hard work started many years before and many miles away from LLUSN.
Mrs. Evans was born in Iraq and is one of six children. Her father was employed by the Iraqi government to work as a construction supervisor. He worked hard with his team to put in sidewalks on local streets. However, her father’s job soon interfered with his religious beliefs when her family was first introduced to the Adventist faith by her mother’s cousin. The Adventist religion soon spread in Adeeba’s family. First her mother was converted, and then her father, and the children followed.
“My father was devoted to keeping the Sabbath,” she says.
As a Muslim country, Iraq’s working week started on Saturday with a weekend break on Friday.
“Before my father became an Adventist, he usually worked on Saturdays,” says Mrs. Evans.
But after he became an Adventist he informed the engineer that he could no longer work on Saturdays, and he was laid off. Although her father knew it would be difficult to provide for his children without a job, he trusted God to provide.
“My father’s former director soon realized how valuable he was because of his good work,” says Mrs. Evans.
So without hesitation or question, her father’s previous employer offered him a raise, his job, and allowed him to take Saturdays off.
“My father was very keen about his children’s education,” says Mrs. Evans. “With all the hardships he faced, he still motivated us to continue our education. As a result my brother is a pastor, my sister an educator, my other brother a doctor, my sister was in management, and my other sister is a lab technician.”
Mrs. Evans also experienced similar problems with her work and employers. She studied shorthand and typing at Middle East College in Beirut, Lebanon, but could not find work. Yet, she was determined to find a job and decided to move to Baghdad. She began to work for a British company. When she found an opening as a secretary to the cultural officer at the U.S. information services in the U.S. Embassy she applied for it and got the job.
She was also content because she could keep Sabbath and attend church. Mrs. Evans enjoyed attending church services and events. She also helped with the children’s Sabbath School. She met her husband, Younathan Evans, at a church Christmas party. Mr. Evans had the same determination and motivation as Mrs. Evans. He worked hard managing his own business, importing auto parts. They eventually married a year later in Baghdad.
The Evans family kept growing, with their firstborn child, Brenda, and then they had two more daughters, Nora and Tanya. The determination to work hard did not diminish in Mrs. Evans, even after she had children. As soon as her children were old enough to attend school, she went to work.
Mr. and Mrs. Evans passed on their motivation and diligence to their three daughters. Brenda Evans eventually left Iraq and moved to the United States to attend La Sierra University, Riverside, California. In 1979, Mr. Evans decided it was time for the rest of his family to join Brenda in the United States.
Although Iraq is her home country, Mrs. Evans knew the United States would provide an abundance of opportunity for her family. She is grateful to be in the United States and feels blessed that her children were able to receive an Adventist education.
After La Sierra University, Brenda went on to graduate from University of the Pacific and is currently working as a dentist. Nora and Tanya both graduated from Loma Linda University School of Medicine and work as a surgeon and a dermatologist, respectively.
Mrs. Evans was also eager to find work as her children attended school. In 1980, a year after the Evans family arrived in the United States, she began working at Loma Linda University School of Nursing. She started as a general secretary and eventually became a computer operator. Mrs. Evans remained at LLUSN for 25 years, and is retiring as an administrative assistant. She feels blessed to have worked at LLUSN for many years.
“The School has grown so much from when I started. It’s so wonderful, and I feel fortunate to have worked with the students and faculty at LLUSN,” she says. “I enjoy communicating and helping people. That is something I will miss. I’ll also miss everyone at the School. They are my family.”
By Kristine Gamboa