Sarah (Australia) and Stephen (USA) met on Brethrenmatch.com and are now serving the Lord in Mexico.
It was the summer of 2015 that I read a post of Facebook on a brethren group’s page of a lady in her 30’s who was being told that she should accept the fact that it was not the Lord’s will for her to be married. She asked the group if what she was being told by her church family was true. Many commented on her post encouraging words as did I. Since for the past six years on the mission field in Mexico I had been in prayer for a godly mate, I felt like I could uplift her spirit by commenting as well. Through this post, I read a comment about bretherenmatch.com. I talked to friends and family about the site and investigated it. What impressed me about the web site was that it was impossible for someone to get on it without hearing the gospel. After a week of prayer, I decided to send in my application which was quickly approved and by early September I had my profile up.
As I started viewing various profiles it surprised me some of the things that girls were putting: “It’s important that my future husband likes sports.” I was seeking a mate who would want to serve the Lord with me in full time ministry and after just two days I felt that my looking would be in vain. Then one evening I saw a profile picture and thought “She has a nice smile.” One click and I started getting a little excited. This girl was in full time ministry too with YWAM and had been for three years. She also had accepted the Lord at the same age as I had. Quickly I sent her a short message stating we had things in common and if she was not communicating with anyone else if she would like, she could look over my profile and contact me. And thus began the wait… After 24 hours I sent a message to bretherenmatch.com and asked if there was a way to know if she got my massage, which there wasn’t. So, I waited more. After another 24 hours I had given up. I felt that the site had been a waste of my time. However, the Lord was at work. I soon received a message from bretherenmatch.com asking if I was willing for them to give my e-mail address to this girl. My response was an emphatic yes!
Soon Sarah Jane and I began exchanging e-mails regularly for about a month after which time I conjured up enough confidence to ask if she would like to skype with me. Our first-time skyping was quite awkward. We smiled a lot. To help I had written down various questions. Sarah was nervous and thought that I would be asking deep theological questions. However, to her surprise my first question was, “what’s your favorite color?”
Though e-mails and skyping regularly it quickly became clear to us that we had found our match! Neither one wanted to tell the other. Yet one day I sent Sarah an e-mail with a question that I had saved to ask anyone that I would be wanting to marry: “Are you willing to serve the Lord with me where ever the Lord would call us and for however long the Lord would call us?” I asked her not to answer, but to pray about it.
My birthday is early December and Sarah had sent me a birthday gift and a card that I was not allowed to open until my special day My 29th birthday came around and I eagerly opened the card and in it Sarah said that yes, she would be willing to go with me wherever the Lord would lead us and that she loved me. When we got to skype a few days later I asked her if she would be willing for me to call her my girlfriend. She said that she would be honored. At the same time, since Christmas was so close, I had sent her a special Christmas gift. It was a locket with a bible reference inside (Ephesians 2:20-21). I had chosen that passage because I had felt that it reflected our relationship: God had done exceedingly abundantly above all that we could ask or think! When she had opened the locket, and showed her mom her mother was at a loss for words. How could it be possible? Sarah’s mom later confessed to having prayed this same portion of scripture as she prayed for Sarah’s future husband. These two events were major confirmations for Sarah and I as we sought the Lord’s guidance in our relationship.
The following year, May 2016, Sarah came to visit me in Mexico for two weeks and then in the USA for my sister’s weddings in my home state of North Carolina and Kentucky. I was amazed at how she could connect with the people that I had been ministering to for a couple of years in only a few days. It was a blessing to see that we did truly work well together in the ministry. Though our time in Mexico was great we were both looking forward to a special night I had named “A night to Remember.” This would be our first real date and the night I would propose to her.
It was planned perfectly. We would go out for dinner during which time the couple that she was staying with would prepare a path of rose petals from the front door to the back porch which would be lighted by candles. After we had eaten our meal though I had more planed it was getting late and so I said to Sarah that I was very sorry, but we needed to be heading back to the house. I was preaching in the morning and I added that I would make up for such a short evening. She was genuinely sad (secretly she had thought I would propose to her, but these dreams had now been shattered). So, we arrived at the house I said a very quick goodnight and acted as if I was leaving. While the lady of the house distracted Sarah within I got my mom’s old engagement ring from the car and ran to the back porch which had been decorated beautifully. When Sarah arrived from her rose petal journey I was not sure what to say. Yet I knew what I was going to do. I asked her to sit and I washed her feet showing her that just like our Savior served others, I wanted to serve her for the rest of my life. I then said words similar to these: “Sarah Jane, these past couple of weeks in Mexico I saw my ministry grow because of your presence. I would like to serve you and serve with you for the rest of my life. Sarah Jane, will you marry me?” She nodded and said “Yes.” Then true love’s first kiss met. Sadly, Sarah’s six-week visit came to an end. When I left her in the airport I cried about thirty minutes as I drove back to the Mexican border. I felt like I had lost part of my heart. For the next few months I focused on my ministry in Mexico and Sarah took a TESOL course in Australia. However, we skyped, WhatsApp messaged, and e-mailed constantly. We could not talk enough together. I could not wait for October.
Finally, October first came. My journey to get to the airport is another story, but I finally made it to Australia and into my love’s arms. From October through December Sarah and I ministered in various churches, visited the elderly, and spoke at a couple of nursing homes. Also during this time, we spent wedding planning, getting to know some of Sarah’s family, and going through marriage counselling with her pastor. Eventually, my parents arrived from Kentucky along with friends and other family members from Sarah’s side. And on December 17, 2016 we were married. God does do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think!
Sarah and I have now been serving in Mexico for the past few months. Sarah has been focusing on learning Spanish through both immersion and Rosetta Stone. Together we have lead bible studies, children ministry, working with the local churches, and have plans to have an English camp for kids while they are on summer vacation. We are looking forward to whatever the Lord has for us and according to his will hope to serve him and each other for the next fifty years of our lives.