It was May 1, 1982 – I woke up early after not having slept very well. Today was the day I had dreamed of for most of my 18 years of life. It was MY wedding day! I was going to marry the cutest boy I had ever met who made my heart flutter every time I even thought of him.
My mom and sisters went to the hair salon to get their hair done, I went to the church to put up candle holders as I was going to do my own hair. I giddily placed candle holders where we wanted them and struggled with one that remained BENT the entire wedding- that irked me terribly!
Meanwhile on that chilly Minnesota morning, Dan and the groomsmen were staying in the house we were renting. There was no hot water, so Dan took a cold shower and the groomsmen opted not to. Dan said he was worried that it might snow because of the chill in the air and we did live in Minnesota!
It was a fun, very special day for us to visit with friends and family. To celebrate with people who have long passed on to Heaven now, other friends and family. We went back to our house and opened presents with family. We had a lot of avacado, burnt orange, and yellow Tupperware, and all of those things that we needed to start a new household. Much more than we needed to be exact! This was before the days of Wedding Registries, so we had to take a couple of items back to Gardner’s Hardware Store and we were able to get a wonderful clock radio with an alarm clock with our returned items.
We didn’t go on a honeymoon as I was still in Legal Secretary School and we didn’t have any money! Dan and I took Friday off of Work and school, and then started our life together. As our family sent us off to our new life together we had no idea what life would bring. We did know that we had each other, a bunch of dreams, and love… That’s all we needed, right?
Little did I know exactly what type of man I had married. I knew Dan was smart, practical, determined young man who was ALWAYS right, and would defend that to the death. As we are both firstborn in our families Dr. Dobson described it like two rams butting heads together constantly. We laughed and thought that was funny because we really did get along well and that first year of life together we had quite a few arguments – but were able to come to a place of understanding fairly quickly most of the time.
When I think of the 18 and 21 year olds that we were when we started this journey and the people we are now I am thankful! I am so thankful that I am still not that 18 year old who thought the world revolved around her. I am thankful for the very good times we have shared, but I have to say the times we have grown the most together as a couple have been the bad times. The times when we looked at each other and said, “I have no idea what the right thing to do is, we need to pray because God does”. Those are the times that have cemented us together as a couple.
Last year we were apart on our Anniversary as I was in the States and Dan was in Nigeria. During the time I was in the States by myself it was a very strange feeling no matter what I did or who I was meeting with I felt like part of me was missing. When we reunited I realized what it was. My Helpmeet was missing, the part of me that I can just give a glance to and we both know what we are thinking of. We have a little smile on our lips when someone says something that triggers a memory and we burst out in random 6o’s, 70’s, or 80’s song lyrics at any occasion.
Thank you God for a man who loves you first, me second, and our family next. A man who you gifted and prepared to do the work he does now. Helping community and many people in such a variety of ways. Thank you God for bringing us together, and then keeping us together.
It has been 6 months since I have blogged! Wow, I have to say that went quickly! I want to update you on how our trip back to Gembu went. This trip was different than any other we have experienced before!
The airplane left Minneapolis around 10 on August 7. We were on it and so were our 17 bags. We arrived at JFK on time and our flight was delayed because of “technical difficulties”. After we finally boarded the plane, we sat on the runway in the rain and thunder and lightening for another hour or more. This made our plane about 3 1/2 hours late to Paris. We missed the flight to Abuja because of this. We stood in a line of passengers for 4 hours to re-schedule a flight and found out that we had two choices. #1. Board a plane the next morning, fly to London, then to Frankfurt, then to Abuja and get there around 2:55 on August 10 #2. Take a direct flight from Paris in 2 days. The airline would pay for one day, food for a day and a voucher for airport store and we would have to pay for one day, and we would get to Abuja around 3:45 on August 10. We opted for #2 as we were already so tired! What to do in Paris for a full day? Hmmm, we have thought about staying for a day or two as we frequently have a lay-over when traveling between Minneapolis and Abuja but we have never done it because when we travel we want to get where we are going and are pretty focused about that. We took a Uber to the Double-decker bus tour and toured Paris all day. We stopped and had sandwiches at a fun restaurant and then in the afternoon had a cappucino and Tiramisu. It was the most relaxed we have been for a long time. Just us stuck in another country that has bathrooms and good coffee. Merci God!
The next morning we caught the plane to Abuja, we had Peter waiting at the airport with an extra vehicle because we were supposed to have 17 large bags. We went through and collected our baggage and only 5 made it so Peter left to go back to his new Uber job as he has retired from GECHAAN now. Dan filed a claim and we were told that the rest would be here on Sunday (this was Friday and we were hoping to be back to Gembu by Satuday night). We did our shopping for food items and other supplies as we are hoping not to have to travel to Abuja at all this year. Sunday Dan and Taiwo went to pick up our bags at the airport and we received 9 more. The others “should” arrive Tuesday they said. So, what to do in Abuja for two more days? We got to visit with Anita and Hintiya, our very dear friends and with the Pastor in Nigeria that heads up The Timothy Initiative project in Nigeria, we also checked out an automatic brick making machine that is available to purchase in Nigeria.
Wednesday morning we left at 5:00 am and Taiwo and Dan drove. We arrived home at 7:30 pm. It gets dark here around 6:30 so we only had about an hour in the dark. The roads were mostly good for here and we were never so thankful to finally be at one of our homes!
We were greeted by Lady and Tramp and their 4 – 3 month old puppies! The puppies are VERY large and I cannot wait to show you how adorable they are. They are very big and I think they are going to be even bigger than Lady and Tramp are.
We unpacked our bags, distributed items to their appropriate places over the weekend and are ready to be back in the swing of things now we feel.
We were so surprised and excited to see how much our Staff has taken responsibility for while we were gone and how well things are going. God is really blessing and we feel blessed to be a tiny part in it.
Please pray for us as we make plans for ministry for this coming year and for us to do EXACTLY what God wants us to do this coming year and the connections we made this past summer in regards to Agriculture and medical equipment and technology.
My point for today is this: Even when our agenda doesn’t happen, He is sooo good!
Signing off from Gembu for now ~ Tina