Moving from their family’s missionary work in Latin America to Louisville, Kentucky, the three Llambés siblings have flourished together at the same school.
As children of a Cuban father and Colombian mother, Sarah, Charles, and Bianca Llambés were born and spent the early years of their lives in Miami, Florida — a melting pot of cultures. When they were young, their parents moved to the Dominican Republic, where they served as missionaries for a decade through the International Mission Board. The family translated for medical clinics, planned Vacation Bible Schools for Haitian and Dominican church plants, and planted churches.
“It was a whole new adventure. We left by faith,” said Sarah, the oldest. “We sold everything we had and didn’t look back. We learned to trust and be dependent on God daily. The Lord really confirmed our calling during that time.”
Their parents, Carlos and Liliana, are enrolled in online master’s classes through Southern’s Hispanic Initiatives and have since moved to Mexico City for missions work. Carlos and Liliana recently spent a furlough in Louisville, reuniting with their children who one-by-one made their way to Boyce College.
Sarah, 22, arrived at Boyce in 2014. The only one of her siblings away from home at the time, Sarah struggled with loneliness but said she was encouraged by those in her hall who sought to make her feel at home. Charles, 20, followed Sarah to Boyce in 2015 to study Worship and Pastoral Studies, planning to improve musically while learning to serve as a music pastor. Bianca, 19, said living with her siblings made Boyce attractive, and she became a student in the fall of 2015. She and Sarah are both majoring in Music and Worship Studies. All three agree that Boyce College provides a small and homey environment and charges them with a passion for the gospel.
“We have a desire to learn more about the gospel and apply it in music,” Bianca said.
From working in Dorm Meeting Band and Lexington Road — two of the worship teams at Boyce — to serving as an assistant residential advisor, all three have been heavily involved in the student life department.
All three siblings have worked closely with Scott Connell, assistant professor of music and worship leadership, as students in the music department. Connell and his wife, Mary, have not only invested in their musical abilities, but have cared deeply for their souls and their lives, they said.
“Dr. Connell cares for his students, and not just in an academic way,” Sarah said. “He really wants to know how you are doing. He cares for us, prays for us, and encourages us. Every music major I know agrees.”
The siblings have also developed a relationship with Barry Joslin, associate professor of Christian theology at Boyce. The three not only sat under Joslin’s teaching, but have also worked alongside him on the worship team at Sojourn Community Church.
“Dr. Joslin has been a great friend to me and has always been near in helping me work through theological issues in which I seek clarity,” Charles said.
The siblings are all members of Sojourn Midtown and each one says the church has become a mission-minded family to each of them, seeking to reach out and invite the lost — regardless of ethnicity, class, or gender.
“Sojourn has always been a safe place where I can be myself and express myself freely without being judged for my heritage or the color of my skin,” Charles said. “I am forever grateful for the way Sojourn has cared for me.”
The Llambés siblings are also involved with the music and research teams at Sojourn. They have been able to bring much of what they have learned at Boyce to their ministry at Sojourn, and have grown significantly through their church relationships, Sarah said.
“Sojourn Music been a huge blessing both spiritually and musically,” she said. “The brothers and sisters that we get to serve alongside of are some of the most talented people I’ve ever met. But most importantly they’re some of the most faithful to the service of Christ. Even though the Lord has gifted them in their craft there is also a very evident sense of humility.”
After graduating from Boyce, Bianca and Sarah plan to remain in Louisville and continue serving at Sojourn. Charles plans on earning his MBA before returning to Southern Seminary and earning his M.Div. In addition, parents Carlos and Liliana recently joined Sojourn and established Louisville as their new home base.
“Because we moved around so much our lives have consisted of treasuring people and not location,” Sarah said. “I miss my friends and family most, but I love that, in Louisville, we have been able to acquire the same kinds of deep, caring friendships.”