Adventure Meets Opportunity On and Off the Court
| by Carol Best firstname.lastname@example.org
"God has been so good to Nasko and me. We are blessed with the opportunities and abilities He has given us."
Molly (Brewster ’13, MSM ‘16) Karagyaurov says she can’t take the credit for where she is today; a pro volleyball player living in Offenburg, Germany. While she didn’t initially plan to live and work abroad, Molly sees the hand of God in experiences and education that prepared her for her life today.
Now in her third professional season as an outside hitter for Volleyball Club Offenburg, Molly recounts what it took to get there.
“I did a lot of organizing highlight tapes, game film, statistics, creating a volleyball CV and as much networking as I could,” she remembers. “I worked summer camps at big universities. I attended training camps at the Olympic Training facility for Team USA. I did my best to get my face seen and shake the hands of the big shots of the volleyball world in the US.”
All of this happened during and immediately after completing her bachelor’s degree at MNU where she played volleyball for the Pioneers. Through those contacts, her name became known in international circles. In a European 10-day-tour which showcased professionals, she played in front of coaches from across the continent.
“Talk about pressure,” Molly says. “I had two contract offers. In what was the most stressful decision I had made up to that point in my life, I accepted the offer from the Germans and hopped into their bus. Looking back, I know it was a God thing!”
Playing one season, she then returned to MNU and became the assistant volleyball coach, and administrative assistant for the athletics department for two years while she earned her Master of Science in Management degree. Then Volleyball Club Offenburg asked her to return to Germany.
In the meantime, Molly had met and started to date MNU student athlete Atanas Karagyaurov (’15), known as Nasko. In a whirlwind, the two married and moved to Germany. They love their life together; an adventure, as Molly puts it.
“I love Europe and the fact that some of the most beautiful and famous cities in the world are right in our backyard,” Molly says. “I love the fact that I learn something every day; whether it is language, food, culture, volleyball technique, or teaching strategy.”
“There are so many good things about what I am doing,” Molly asserts. “I love the fact that I play sports at this level. I love the fact that I love what I do for a living. I love the fact that being abroad has made the foundation of my marriage so strong because we are forced to really lean on each other.
A difficult thing for Molly has been adjusting to the way religion is viewed and practiced in Europe.
“I believe as a Christian it is more important now than ever to be educated with a Christian perspective. The days are coming when we will have to defend our faith to the world. When we will have to say why we believe what we do. When we will have to say why we live the way we do. There is no better way to prepare for those time but through Christian education.”
What would Molly say to students thinking about pursuing an international experience? Two words.
“DO IT,” she says. “It will change your life. The things you believe, the ideas you have formed, the views you have will all be challenged. That is a massive part of growing up; of becoming a person who sees the world differently.”
Molly is thankful for her MNU experience; the education, the opportunities and especially the people who “helped shape the woman she is today.”
“I'm truly humbled and can take no credit for where I find myself today,” she says. “God is good!”