I think Brian and I would tell this story differently :-) We were both working at Mercy Ships International Office in Texas.
I had been there for nearly a year, and was waiting rather impatiently to get the go-ahead to follow my heart's calling back to Nicaragua.
Brian was spending his third summer volunteering in the computer department, where they were GRATEFUL for his superb programming skills.
He noticed me well before I noticed him, which still surprises me. I think he had been walking by my office for at least a week watching me
through the window before we had lunch together, then ice cream together, then went biking together, then coffee together, then played the guitar
together, and started sharing our heart for missions. All this was span of a short week - a bit of a whirlwind!
Just after we started dating, I made my plans to return to Nicaragua, and we spent a month together letting God multiply the
time and build our relationship. It was a great month, and Brian joined me in Wisconsin to meet my family and see me on my way.
Since then, we've found a few days or a few weeks all over - Nicaragua, Texas, Alabama, South Carolina, Virginia, Indiana, and California.
He visited me several times in Nicaragua, and it was a joy to share the ministry that's so dear to my heart with him.
Last March, during a weeklong visit to the South and getting to know his family, Brian took me to visit his alma mater, Clemson University.
After a great day, that included the Cheesecake Factory in Atlanta, he proposed with the Bebo Norman song, "A Page is Turned" alongside
Lake Hartwell where he was baptized in college. It was a wonderful place to start our life together and turn the next page in our lives.
Kristine tells the story very well, although she doesn't describe some of the thoughts and feelings I had during the summer of 2001 when we met
at the Mercy Ships headquarters. She was sitting at the reception desk for healthcare services. And I was working in the computer department down
the hall in the same building. My first task of the summer was to install and configure RedHat Linux on servers to be shipped out to Mercy Ships
offices all over the world. To accomplish this task, we converted a conference room into a temporary server farm. This conference room happened to be
very close to Kristine's desk. See the diagram below.
As you can see, frequently throughout the day I would journey from my desk to the conference room passing right by this amazingly beautiful woman. I
thought to myself that for sure she must be already spoken for, but after meeting her and getting to know her, to see her heart for missions, to see her
spirit and enthusiasm for life, I found out that not only did she share my heart in so many ways but also that she shared a strong mutual attraction. We started
dating and had a wonderful, multiplied summer together.
Saying goodbye in September was hard though. We spent an awesome weekend together in Wisconsin (my first trip to the Midwest) with her family. But when
we said goodbye in front of the gate and then her plane pulled away, I wasn't sure when I would see her again. That was hard! Within a few hours I too was on a plane
back to California separated by thousands of miles and two time zones from my newfound love.
But God in His goodness did bring us back together -- many times!
Christmas 2001 - Together at the Mercy Ships base in Nicaragua.
Easter 2002 - Our engagement rendezvous and "meet the family" tour.
July 2002 - Together again in Nicaragua.
September 2002 - A week and a weekend together in California.
November 2002 - Together for a week in Nicaragua.
Christmas 2002 - Together in Alabama for a few days.
March 2003 - One more week in Nicaragua.
April 2003 - Together for a month in California.
June 28, 2003 - Together for a lifetime!