Billy asked and I said yes!
Last Friday night, Billy and I went to dinner to the Rosa Nautica, a restaurant we had visited a couple times in the past. We decided to go out for the night since it was going to be one of our last nights together without volunteers before the busy season of traveling with work teams began.
Dinner was lovely and we ended up sitting at a table right next to the window. The restaurant it built on a pier and a majority of the restaurant is built over the ocean on stilts. The water was a little rough and we could hear and sometimes feel the waves crashing against the floor supports. We spent the evening just talking, something we will not be able to do very often for the next few months.
After dinner, we each ordered a dessert and ended up getting three different plates. While the waiters were setting the plates down on the table, Billy smoothly got down on one knee and among very sweet words and sentiments, asked the question every girl wants to hear sometime, “Will you marry me?”
Of course I said yes!
The third plate that the waiters brought with dessert happened to be a dish with a red rose on it, and text written around the sides. Inside the rose, I found a beautiful ring that Billy had lovingly picked out for me.
After the initial shock of “oh my gosh, I can’t believe this is happening!” slightly wore off, we took a few photographs ourselves.
…and asked one of our waiters to take one too.
And, we made a few calls to share our happy news!
After dinner while walking out to a taxi, Billy told me he chose this particular restaurant to propose to me for a couple reasons – it was one of the first places we went after we started dating and so that it would be a place we could always come back to on special occasions and remember the night. I’m looking forward to returning for the beautiful view, delicious food and absolutely wonderful company and memories.
How we met
For those that don’t know, Billy and I originally met in 2001, during the summer after our freshman year of high school on a trip to Peru. We were both 15 and it was our first trip to Peru. We both joined teams at our respective churches, where our youth pastors happened to be brothers. We’re both from Michigan, and our parents live approximately 20 minutes from each other.
A few years later, after the occasional encounter in Michigan, we both ended up spending the summer of 2008 in Peru as volunteer translators. During the past 7 years (since our first trip in 2001), we both had remained involved with Scripture Union and traveled to Peru numerous times, but with our respective churches.
During the 2008 trip, we spent a month working together at the Girasoles home in Kusi and became friends. After that month, we both returned back to Michigan and remained in contact and went out to dinner, got coffee or caught a movie about every other week.
The following year, Billy had finished raising the support needed to begin full-time ministry with Scripture Union Peru and he moved to Lima in March 2009. I remained in Michigan and a few months later, went to Peru again as a volunteer translator for 3 months. We didn’t see much of each other that summer, but managed to spend a few days here and there together. I returned to Michigan, and we traded the occasional email and about once a month, a lengthy phone call.
During the summer of 2010, I returned to Peru yet again as a volunteer translator while I was raising my own support to work full time with Scripture Union Peru. Again, we didn’t see much of each other since I was working in the Amazon jungle and Billy was primarily in Cusco.
That year, Billy decided to spend Christmas in Michigan with his family. We spent a few days together while he was home briefly, including an extended family dinner for his sister’s birthday and going to breakfast at 6am the day he returned to Lima. We spent a few hours at breakfast that morning and it came up that we had mutual feelings for each other, but agreed it would be difficult to maintain a long distance relationship.
During the next 6 months, from January to June 2011, when I finally moved to Lima myself, we spoke on the phone or Google Talk (so handy!) almost every other day. When I arrived in Lima, we were able to spend a couple days together in Lima before I headed north to the Amazon jungle again and Billy traveled with volunteer teams. It wasn’t until a few months later in August when I returned from the jungle that we officially started dating.
When our volunteers ask, I like sharing this somewhat long and complicated story about how we met because despite the fact that we were raised about 20 minutes from each other in Michigan, God had been working in each of our lives separately and preparing us for a ministry in Peru and a life together. We both developed our interest and passion for working with Scripture Union apart during those first few years and then have been able to see it develop even further together.
2012 – just last week!
And now, we’ll have the great pleasure of spending the rest of our lives together.