While many students and faculty relaxed over spring break, some staff members took a trip to retrace the steps of Bethany’s Lutheran heritage. This trip was in Germany, “The Land of Luther.”Although no students went on the trip, several Bethany staff members and alumni took part.
The professor in charge was history professor Dr. John Boubel. Boubel, who has travelled to Europe many times, got to experience real German culture on this trip. It was not the food or the many places the group went, but his time in a hospital there.
“I got a regular strain of influenza while over there and I went to see a doctor. The German hospitals are much different from those in America—there, hospitalization is mandatory, while in America a person has to be very ill to be hospitalized. I got much more culture that in any other country in Europe I’ve visited, just from being in the hospital,” said Boubel.
The group travelled to many significant places of Luther’s life in Germany, including Eisleben, where he was born, Eisenach, where Luther lived as a school boy, and Erfurt, where Luther was a monk and was ordained as a priest in the Augustine monastery. In the monastery, the group got to see the actual slab of stone in the floor of the chancel where Luther laid and took his vows. For Boubel, this was his favorite part of the trip.
“It was really neat that the slab was still on the floor. I think I would have enjoyed the churches in Wittenburg (another city the group visited), where Luther lived, as well. Those would have been high points for me,” said Boubel.
For other people that went on the trip, it was the food that was memorable.
Bethany’s payroll and account specialist Connie Gullixson said, “Breakfast was wild. There was always such good breakfasts that included eggs, cold cuts, hot and cold cereal, yogurt, fruit and juice. At one of the places we ate, there were even choices of different nuts to put in your oatmeal.”
For others still, it was the chance to be able to spend time with family exploring a new place.
Darci Matzke, who went with her daughter, Bethany alumnus Kristin Matzke, said, “All in all it was an amazing journey and a memory I will not soon forget. I thank God for a daughter to be able to share this experience with me.”
According to Boubel, this was the last Land of Luther trip for Bethany in the near future.