Daily Life, Newsletters

Alette

At the time that I send my previous newsletter I was just coming out of another time of battling discouragement after moving to yet another city, starting at yet another new university, and seemingly still no sign of a special someone that I thought the Lord had told would come this Fall, as He told me: ‘Ruth is coming’. After more than a decade of praying, looking and waiting I felt weak. And yet only a little over a week later I found myself in a relationship with an amazing godly, beautiful and fun woman: Alette Pena. She is an American-Norwegian who grew up in the US, but moved to Norway in 2012. Now we are already preparing to be engaged and get married in the Spring of 2014.

As we look back we are amazed by how the Lord has brought us together, and what a perfect match we are for each other. We both moved to IHOP in Kansas City in March 2006, but never met until last year, as I was on the NightWatch and Alette used to pray in the early morning when I was asleep. Then last year I felt I was supposed to go back to IHOP for a few weeks, but I did not know for what. Since the beginning of that year (2012) I had also had the impression that I would meet my future wife somewhere in August or September. We met each other through a mutual friend whom I got to know in India in 2009. There was a good connect, but I didn’t see it back then. Soon after that the Lord told me to start saving €100 per month for my wedding, which I did without having it in my budget. He provided it faithfully every month, which greatly encouraged me in the waiting.

In January Alette came to Amsterdam for a few months and we met again a few times and got to know each other more. Even then my eyes were not opened yet, while she had been praying for me since we met in IHOP. Then we met again early in October, and felt encouraged by the Lord to take a step and get to know each other more. That same day that that decision was made it felt like my eyes were suddenly opened and I could SEE her: how amazing she is, how much I like her, how much she is what I have been praying for for so many years, and how much we complement each other in our giftings, calling and our pursuit of the Lord. In retrospect we see clearly that it simply was not the right time yet earlier. She first had to start her studies in business administration in Oslo, and I first needed to go to Congo to receive future plans.

As we started our relationship we were very aware of the many obstacles. We were living in different countries, with different long-term commitments and callings from the Lord. So we both laid it down before Him, trusting that if this was His doing He would start merging the paths of our lives. Since then we have seen that happen very clearly and very fast. My university didn’t schedule lectures for one week and I got an unexpected gift exactly the amount for tickets to Norway, so we got to spend time together and visit her Norwegian family. Our families and close friends that we have in common in different countries (another blessing!) all are behind us getting together. Alette could cancel her one year contract for her room in Oslo earlier and is in the process of shifting to a comparable online Bachelor in business administration degree. Because of her Norwegian nationality it turns out to be feasible to move to and get married in the Netherlands soon. And the Lord has spoken to both of us individually about preparing to move to Congo, which is an amazing blessing to me. When I left Congo this Summer I felt I would return with my wife, to which I tried to hold on by faith. Now it is all coming together.

IMG_1929Right now Alette is preparing to move to the Netherlands on December 16. She will live with my sister, whom she met earlier this year and be able to be close to my family (and me!) to get to know them better. This Christmas break we expect to travel to Kansas City to have time with her family and to get engaged. We want to celebrate this with a small number of family and close friends on January 4th. Then we are preparing to get married in or around my hometown Bergambacht in the Netherlands halfway March, which will give us some time to build up our lives together before we expect to move to Congo at the end of 2014 or beginning of 2015.

Well, I can imagine this all sounds like it is going fast – and it is! How wise the Lord is in His timing, and preparing us in similar environments and places over the past years. This makes it so much easier for us to come together in such a short amount of time, as our values, experience and personalities match so well. I often compare it with the feeling of being in a rollercoaster: once it takes of it goes so fast that you wonder for a moment if you can handle it, but at the same time it is so exciting and exactly what you love. That’s how it has felt for my heart: it is being stretched, but it is so good! We find time and again that the main thing to do is simply to stay close to the Lord and follow His lead and then all else comes together.

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