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Maria & Theresa Mamah

When twins Maria and Theresa Mamah arrived in the United States, they experienced quite a bit of culture shock. "The choice of words was different, the food was different. I had to adapt to a whole new mind set," says Maria. The girls grew up in their father's native Nigeria but also spent time in Hungary, their mother's homeland. At age 13, following the tragic death of both parents in Nigeria, the twins were sent to live with their 21-year-old sister in New York. Though originally from a Catholic background, the twins were enrolled at Union Springs Academy in New York so that their sister could attend medical school at University of Rochester.

It was at Union Springs Academy that the twins converted to Adventism. Before high school, they had never heard of Adventism or the Sabbath. In an effort to prove the other students wrong, Maria and Theresa turned to the Bible. With the help of their pastor, the twins were able to learn about the Adventist church and were baptized. They both came to the realization that they felt "more Adventist than Catholic."

Both twins decided to come to Andrews University together in 2003. "After becoming an Adventist in my freshman year of high school, I realized the need for me to be in an Adventist background," says Theresa. The sisters have found Andrews to be a good fit. "We're like a big family. That's what makes me love Andrews University." Maria is studying digital multimedia and marketing. She hopes to get an MA in advertising and work with the media. Theresa studies speech pathology and audiology and plans to be an audiologist. Both twins hope to ultimately open an orphanage in order to show Christ to children. "We want to show kids without parents that God loves them, even if no one else does."

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Berrien Springs, Michigan 49104