From Pakistan to Texas: Charles Ramsey shares his FCC experience

Some of you may have recently heard Forman Christian College mentioned on the popular television show called “Fixer Upper.” Our hope is that this can be a valuable opportunity to show a national audience a few glimpses of the beautiful city of Lahore and of our beloved college. (Click here to read more about our HGTV "Fixer Upper" experience.)

We are the Ramsey family, (Charles, Brooke, and our children Jonah, Sophia, Norah, Judah, and Clara) and we had the wonderful privilege of serving at FCC for five years between 2012 and 2017.  It was a great experience, and we are so thankful to Dr. James Tebbe and the university community – the students, faculty, and staff – and also to the many supporters who work together to make Forman one of the most important centers of learning on the planet.

If you watched the show, you saw that we recently transitioned from Forman to Baylor University in Texas and this has opened a way to tell many about our many adventures and experiences in Pakistan. I taught Religion and Peace Studies, Brooke home-schooled our children and participated in the life of the college through the many student activities, and our children delighted in the grounds, park, and swimming – taking turns serving as the “mayor” of faculty housing. These are remembered as fabulous years for our family. As we reminisce about what made this time so valuable, what inevitably comes to mind are the many relationships we developed with co-workers, but particularly with students.

I think of Waqas, for example, young man from Southern Punjab which is an area of poverty that has also become a hotbed of militancy. Waqas started a pre-med program in Karachi but after a few months he correctly discerned that his heart was in the Social Sciences.  He was in my World Religions class and became fascinated with the Sufi poetry indigenous to his region. This gave him language to process many of the ideas he was learning from a liberal arts education and to communicate them back to his family. Waqas is now finishing his MA in London, writing a thesis that explores and translates one of the most important poets from his region. His dream is to complete a doctorate and teach somewhere like FCC, or perhaps even closer to home. 

We also remember a close friendship with Naseer, a Christian student who recently completed his master’s degree in the Center for Public Policy and Governance. He is from a lovely village about 2 hours from Lahore which is surrounded by expansive rice fields, but unfortunately one that has experienced first-hand the complex issues of poverty and religious discrimination. Through his friendship, Brooke and I were able to interact with people whose lives are being improved through the education Naseer has received and they are growing in the ability to organize, advocate, and express views with greater confidence. By teaching at FCC, we were directly involved in supporting and equipping future leaders who are increasingly able to address the complex issues, such as economic development and minority rights, that are of the greatest importance in Pakistan and beyond. 

But life at FCC is not all about work. We also regularly recall how much we enjoyed celebrating the holidays with our host friends and family in Lahore. The Tebbes hosted wonderful Thanksgiving dinners, and of course we will never forget the annual Dubash family Christmas feast! Students also came by singing Christmas carols and we will always cherish the warmth and friendship we experienced, even as we so missed being away from our loved ones in the US.

As we settle back in to life in America, we do with a profound gratitude for the opportunity to experience life in Pakistan and with the Forman family. We continue in our respective careers, teaching school and university, with an enriched perspective, and also with a lasting commitment to share these memories and to champion the many purposes that are uniquely brought together in this “good old college.”




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Posted: 6/29/2018