God recently opened some new doors for Joshua and I to share our love story, encouraging others to follow God’s guidance in marriage and family.
“So you got engaged only 12 days after meeting. What was it that made you so sure? Was there just an amazing spark between the two of you? A sort of love at first sight?”
Dinnerware clinked and the chic restaurant dining room hummed with the activity of about 50 people: couples dressed up to celebrate the 14th of February over a special dinner. “The Love Story Cafe”, a Valentine’s outreach hosted by God’s Design Church, was in full progress. Josh and I had supplied the “love story” part a few minutes earlier.
The query came from the pastor of GDC and friend of ours, Pavlo. He was conducting an interview about our relationship as part of the evening’s entertainment. We spoke into microphones from a contrived stage area and directed our answers out over a sea of faces.
Among the couples gathered were some that we knew, fellow believers from Pavlo’s church. But fully half were strangers to us, people who may or may not have a church background or an understanding of the gospel. They had attended previous English clubs and outreaches hosted by God’s Design Church, and now their curiosity was piqued to hear the unusual story of an American couple and (hopefully) glean a few tips for a happy family and marriage.
Some of Pavlo’s interview questions had to do with our adjustments to early marriage, and for me, to a new life in Ukraine. Others were focused on steps husbands/wives should take to build their relationship.
Our host had asked us to keep churchy terms out of our story and try to make it more relatable to a secular audience. This proved to be quite challenging. But as we moved forward through the evening, we were able to point to God and His Word as the foundation for everything that we do, including our marriage relationship.
The response to the Love Story Cafe was warm and receptive, and many couples expressed interest in participating in similar events in the future. We’re grateful to have been part of it.
As a rule, our family has a fairly quiet social calendar. But this year was an exception as we actually had two opportunities to share around Valentine’s Day. Only a few days before the LSC, a group of 50+ single adults gathered at a local Baptist church to hear our love story.
This meeting, in contrast to the formality and focus of the Love Story Cafe, was relaxed and leisurely. We shared for about an hour and a half, recounting how God brought us together from across the world, having never met each other before. If I could distill down a theme for all that was said, it would be this: God is a rewarder of them that seek Him. To have the privilege of sharing that message with an interested group of young people – now that is exciting!!
These two events were chances to sow seeds that we pray God will water and cultivate.
Oh, and yes, we really did get engaged 12 days after meeting face-to-face! (We also spent several months prior to that getting to know each other via email correspondence.) When we finally met, there were sparks going off, and some of them were of the natural romantic kind. But the biggest spark was God Himself, leading us to each other as we sought His plan.
God is the Author of everything good in our lives!
Keep scrolling for more photos from the Love Story Cafe!
Haven’t read our love story yet?