Brindie Howerton '15 Teaches Special Education in the Middle East

Published by Concordia University, Nebraska 3 years ago on Tue, Sep 11, 2018 11:58 AM

A literal act of God convinced Bridie Howerton ’15 that she should attend Concordia University, Nebraska.

Howerton was born and raised in Hawaii, where she attended the only Lutheran high school in the state. She applied to Concordia because it was a Lutheran university, but it wasn’t one of her top choices. Then, in March 2011, Howerton was supposed to go on a spring break trip to Japan. Shortly before she was due to leave, a massive earthquake and tsunami hit the country, making travel there unfeasible. Brindie decided to use her newly freed up time to visit colleges in the continental U.S. instead. She toured three different schools in the Midwest, but when she landed in Nebraska, she saw snow for the first time and fell in love with Concordia’s campus.

“It was the best decision I ever made,” Howerton says. “Concordia has prepared me for my future in so many ways. Mainly the education department and many of the professors that taught me how to work with children and how to adapt the learning environment for every child. Also Concordia helped me to appreciate and embrace my faith inside and outside of my classroom.”

That experience is serving Howerton well in her new career teaching special education at The Wellspring School in the United Arab Emirates. “I knew after my freshman year at Concordia that I was being called overseas to serve the Lord and to teach,” says Howerton.

“It is very different from Nebraska,” she continues. “First, everyone speaks Arabic, including my students, so I have to adapt my language in the classroom so that I can better communicate with them. Second, the culture is different. But I am getting used to the sand getting everywhere, not having to get out of my car to fill up gas, going shopping while my car is getting washed in the parking lot and going to church on Friday and starting work on Sunday.” 

Her experience while at Concordia will forever shape the way Howerton impacts her classroom and the world. “I loved Seward,” Howerton says. “It had become my family. But God presented me with this opportunity that I had been yearning to do since I graduated. I wouldn’t be here without the support and teachings of the professors in the Education Department. They taught me how to show God’s love to my students.”