On the outside looking in, my childhood was not ordinary. But for me, growing up in Pakistan, Indonesia, Singapore, Virginia, California, and Alabama seemed fairly average. I am a Third Culture Kid. I remember when I was younger that it was explained to me using finger paints: blue finger paint for my culture of origin (America) and yellow finger paint for the “foreign” cultures I lived in. The resulting green finger paint was the third culture that I lived in: where I was equal parts blue and yellow, but didn’t fit into either one exactly. I was green. I am green.
When I came to Samford, I had every intention of graduating and going to grad school here in the States. I felt fairly certain that if I did go overseas, it would be on a short-term basis. Of course, God loves to take the best-laid plans and giggle at our haphazard building of what we think our lives ought to be. In the summer before my senior year at SU, I was contacted by a friend that I went to high school with in Singapore. Her father is now the director of my alma mater, International Community School, a school that is part of the Network of International Christian Schools. She mentioned that her dad was wondering what my plans were post-graduation. I was floored. It had never even begun to cross my mind that I could go back and teach at ICS! I wasn’t even an education major any more after switching to English my sophomore year. Teaching seemed out of the question for me—a first grade dream that I’d clung to until college. And yet, this idea of teaching at my alma mater grew and took root in my heart. You see, when I did want to teach, I wanted to teach at a school exactly like ICS: a school where I could talk about Jesus, a school with small class sizes where teachers got to invest in the lives of their students on a deeper level than just handing out grades. I had several phone interviews with the director of the school and the high school principal (who happened to be one of my former high school teachers) and everything just seemed to click. God was practically pushing me through the open door. In November of my senior year, I had a final interview. 45 minutes later I had a job offer. There was no doubt in my heart. God had led me here and continues to lead me to Singapore. Despite so many unknowns (how DO you write a lesson plan?), I know without a doubt that ICS is where God wants me to be. When I first moved to Singapore in my junior year of high school, I despised everything about it. I was angry that God would rip me away from all that I knew in Indonesia. Looking back on that now, I can see that it was an experience that grew me into the person I am today and was clearly essential for my future. God put me there then so that I could journey there now. I am so grateful that I’m not in charge of my future.
By Becca Lafferty