Alumni Profile: Rebekah Schmidt '10
Born in Solothurn, Switzerland, and raised in Tokyo, Japan, missionary kid Rebekah Schmidt ’10 has always felt at home in international communities. Though anyone who spoke with her would call her American, she struggled to adjust to American culture at Covenant.
“There were many changes for me,” she says. “I struggled with melding my Japanese culture with the American culture I was now living in and expected to know about. As I tried to figure out who I was and who I wanted to be, I was constantly finding myself in Christ, and my identity through Him, because of the great focus Covenant has.”
As she prepared to complete her BA in education, she attended a presentation from Sikola Pelita Harapan (School of Light and Hope) in Lippo Cikarang (SPH-LC), a Christian international school in Indonesia. The school interested her, but after spending most of her life as an expatriate, she “was determined to work in America.” She was seeking teaching positions in America when she received an email from the head of SPH-LC.
“The day God closed the last door to my other job pursuits,” she says, “I decided to write back to SPH-LC, in case that was where God wanted me to go. Within one week I filled out the application, had a phone interview and was accepted.” Less than a month after responding to the email, Rebekah was in Indonesia, preparing to teach. “I can confidently say it was a God thing that I am here in Indonesia, and I am glad I listened to Him because I love it here!”
Rebekah now teaches language arts for first, second and third grade, and has thrown herself fully into developing her abilities as an educator. “It has been a struggle to implement all the great ideas and learning I received at Covenant,” she says. Though she strives to integrate various subjects and thematic units into her lesson plans, she has found it difficult, as all her students speak English only as their second language, and at various levels of proficiency.
“It’s hard when some kids are fluent, and others in the same classroom really struggle to understand. After this first year of teaching, I’ll have the summer to reflect and look back at my textbooks. I feel like I will be able to implement the things I learned at Covenant a lot better.”
Back in the kind of international community in which she was raised, Rebekah feels no rush to return to America. “My contract is for another year, but if I am offered a continuation, I think I will stay for many more years. I think God will have to push me out of Indonesia the same way He pushed me into it.”