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Luallin serves as youth minister abroad

Monday, January 28, 2008  
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By Lori Woodfin

Without hesitation, junior Kelly Luallin said, “yes” and then asked when she would be leaving.  Luallin is now eating bratwursts in Germany and serving as the resident youth minister.

In October of 2006, Luallin’s youth minister, Rick Odell, from Littleton, Colo., called Luallin about a position available in Hildesheim, Germany with the Gemeinde Christi. 

Luallin’s home congregation, Littleton Church of Christ, supports two missionary families in Hildesheim.

Luallin arrived in Germany in May of 2007 after completing her sophomore year at Oklahoma Christian University. Odell and two other interns went with Luallin for the summer.

Luallin went through three months of language school when she first arrived in Germany. 

“I didn’t speak a lick of German when I got here,” Luallin said.

After completing language school, Luallin started interacting with the youth of the church. 

Luallin meets with the youth at lunch individually to get to know each one better and to encourage them.

Luallin helps Stefan and Moni Ingelmann with the preteen group on Friday nights and helps Kyle Bratcher with the Saturday night teen group.

“I’ve also taught Children’s Bible a few times and absolutely loved it,” Luallin said.

Luallin has enjoyed working for the small church of forty members in Hildesheim. 

“I love the sense of community that I feel here,” Luallin said.

Luallin’s favorite food in Hildesheim is Alfred Schumann’s bratwursts. 

Schumann is a neighbor of one of the missionaries. He doesn’t believe in God, but he enjoys speaking in English with Luallin.

“He makes the best bratwurst I’ve ever had,” Luallin said. “I know without a doubt, I will miss that when I leave.”

Luallin also enjoys living with her three roommates who help her improve her German language skills. 

“I enjoy going grocery shopping with them, decorating our apartment and laughing with them about the oddities of life.”

Within three months of being in Hildesheim, Luallin started dreaming in German, which is a sign of fluency in a particular language.

There are still words Luallin doesn’t know, but she does not mind asking.

“I’m not afraid to use my German-English dictionary,” Luallin said.

In February, Luallin will start teaching English at a local high school. 

While in Europe, Luallin has had the opportunity to travel.  In August, Luallin took a trip to Interlaken, Switzerland, and went bungee jumping.

A family at the church is involved with Hildesheim’s Stadt Theater, (City Theater) which has given Luallin the opportunity to enjoy the different shows performed there.

Luallin also traveled through Italy with Oklahoma Christian’s Vienna studies program last semester.  Her boyfriend Bryant Stone was on the Vienna trip, so the two were able to do some traveling together.

“It was awesome being able to travel to one of the most beautiful places on earth with the most beautiful girl on earth,” Stone said.

Stone is excited about all of the opportunities Luallin is being given to serve.

“I wouldn’t say I’m ‘anxious’ but I’m definitely eager for her return,” Stone said. “Our long distance relationship has been a trial, but I am 100 percent confident that the Lord will take care of us.”

Luallin misses her friends at Oklahoma Christian, but the church in Hildesheim has helped Luallin through her spells of homesickness with encouragement and phone calls.

Luallin was a member of Lambda Chi Zeta, and she said she will especially miss being part of the Spring Sing show this year. 

She plans to return to Oklahoma Christian in the fall and continue working toward a degree in youth and family ministry as well as a minor in marketing.

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