1982 Sylvia (Harvie) Musoke
English Teacher • Vientiane, Laos
On Campus 1981-1982 ∙ DIPCS ’82
Originally from Halifax, Nova Scotia, I started my career as a pharmacist. Since then I’ve worked as a pharmacist or stay-at-home mom in three different countries. Today I’m living in Laos, teaching English to students in the health professions. My husband Samm and I have two sons and a daughter-in-law, and though they live far away, we savour opportunities to be with them.
Highlights since Regent:
A great highlight of my life continues to be the nine years I spent living in Bhutan. Working there as a pharmacist was tremendously interesting and challenging, as there were no national pharmacists there at the time. I met my husband in Bhutan (he’s from Uganda), our first son was born there, and we carry lifelong friendships that began there.
Keeping in touch:
Samm and I have enjoyed listening to lectures from Regent Audio together and I sometimes listen to a chapel talk as I eat my lunch.
More From Sylvia
How I got to Regent:
After studying pharmacy and worked briefly as a pharmacist, I came to Regent because I felt that I needed to balance my academic experience with studies related to my faith. A pharmacy degree seemed rather one-sided.
Most important lessons:
The first thing I learned at Regent—which was actually a great crisis of faith—was that no one had all the answers!! Reading all kinds of different authors eventually made me unafraid of other points of view, but it was pretty scary in the beginning.
Another lesson came part-way through my studies. One evening in December, I was finishing up two papers—one on the ethics of Martin Luther, and one on the history of Christian involvement in hospitals. I suddenly had the overwhelming realization that I had been struggling to be good enough for my whole life. In that moment, I had a deep sense of what it means to be justified by faith. That moment has stayed with me and given me great freedom.
How Regent made a difference:
Living my life as a whole—not divided between ministry and non-ministry—is very much an inheritance of my time at Regent. I realized this a few years ago when doing ReFrame with a group in Halifax, because other members of the group were very surprised by the idea of ordinary work being a type of ministry. My time at Regent has given me a solid sense of identity as God’s person in the world, whether serving as a “missionary” or homemaker, helping new immigrants in Halifax, or teaching English in Asia.
Favourite Regent class:
Ethics with Klaus Bockmuehl.
Funniest Regent memory:
We decided to hide outside J. I. Packer’s class on April Fool’s Day. But the joke was on us, because for some reason he was late to class that day!
Favourite thing about Vancouver:
The view over English Bay on the way to the bus each morning.
Aspect of my life that would have surprised me as a student:
My husband and I recently visited our son and his wife, both of whom are doing doctoral work in Auckland, New Zealand.
Why I support Regent today:
We need a place where academic studies can be related to faith.
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