Ten Central Ohio Students and two pastors will fly to Germany in July to live with families in the Unna area. We feel like we are visiting old friends.
Rev. Andreas Mueller, our German partner for this exchange, has planned a trip that includes staying with German families, visiting Wartburg where Martin Luther stayed and visits to Cologne Cathedral and Berlin. 2017 marks the 500th Anniversary of Luther nailing his 95 Thesis on the church door and thus providing a spark for the Reformation. We get to experience some of the celebrations.
Amidst this touring and traveling, our Ohio UCC participants will rekindle relationships with ten German students and two pastors who spent two weeks with our ten Central Ohio UCC students last summer. Our guests experienced life and work in four central Ohio UCC churches as we stayed with families and did work projects with St. John’s UCC, Columbus, Westerville UCC, David’s UCC, Canal Winchester, and Dublin Community Church. Unfortunately, our Fourth of July fireworks with Grace UCC, Lancaster, were rained out!
The Germans were a part of worship, trekking Hocking Hills, visiting the Columbus Zoo, visiting Cleveland, experiencing the stories of the Underground Railroad in Cincinnati and much more.
But the one to one experience of German and American high schoolers was the focus. The Germans got to know American families through their two-week-stay at one household. Our church families got to experience hosting and younger brothers and sisters were apart of it all too. How would they react to our food, our interest in sports, our cars, and our way of life? Frankly, I think our use of air conditioning surprised them, but after a couple days of Ohio’s July muggy weather, they were rather pleased with our over use of cool air.
The idea for this exchange is pretty basic — link high schoolers in Germany and Ohio via our churches. We hope that you follow the writings and photos from our travels this summer and choose to support us by giving to the Young Ambassadors program through the UCC website!