Carol here: Adriaan and Lanie visited us from across the street the first week we lived in Chicago. They are a wonderful couple who speak with a charming accent. Their two adorable children are learning both English and Afrikaans.
When I realized that we were truly moving across the water after our wedding, the tears started flowing freely. I realized that life as I know it was over. I knew the Lord opened the doors for me and Adriaan to come to the States and I wanted to be in His will, always. I saw Adriaan’s coming as a ‘scouting out the land’ like the spies that went to Canaan. He did a great job and immersed himself in the people and culture here. When I came to visit he was ready and bent down on his knees in the Chicago snow to ask me to marry him.
I was bawling with my “surprise” wedding shower. I cried partly from thankfulness that the Lord gave me such a special guy, but also from sadness because I’d be leaving every special person at that party and knew I might not see them again.
It was a step of faith and the Lord really did provide for us. Back in Chicago Adriaan found our church and instead of hanging around with other South Africans, he went to the singles group. He was still learning to speak and think in English. I’m so proud of him, that even within the adjustment, he bit the bullet and spent all his time with other Americans and learned their ways.
He reached out and was loved by the church’s singles group. He even was given furniture and a car to borrow! He made it clear that he has a girlfriend and showed everyone pictures of me, but stayed committed to make friends and reach out to build a new network of friends.
For me, the hardest thing was not to come here as a newlywed. It actually was a wonderful bonding experience for us. It was to get used to American humor and customs.
I learned how to be dependent on the Lord, as I showed new acquaintances they can trust me to be a friend.
The most important lessons I learned was: depend on the Lord, serve, reach out to others, and you will be rewarded!