Working for the Wedding

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On a dreary November morning last year, my phone started vibrating. I answered, and my fiancée Claudia greeted me in Spanish, a nervous tremor in her voice.

Claudia and I had decided to marry in May of 2013. We met in Chile almost five years earlier and had carried on a long-distance relationship for about half our time together as a couple. When I asked her to marry me, Claudia was in the middle of completing a master’s degree in her home country of Peru, and I was working on my master’s in the States. After much prayer, we decided to begin our lives together in the U.S. rather than in Peru. We had no idea what we were getting into as we began Claudia’s immigration process—interminable documentation, an embassy interview, delays and innumerable Skype conversations.
Now, a year and a half later, Claudia was calling to tell me she had finally received her U.S. visa, but there was a catch. Instead of having six months to use the visa as we had planned, we had only three weeks before it expired.

I flew to Peru three days later so that Claudia and I could be presented at her home church and spend time with her parents and sisters. A few days later, we travelled together to the States and were married on December 28.

Seeing Claudia, resplendent in her white gown and carrying a violet bouquet of roses and mums, was one of the happiest moments of my life. It also got me thinking about one of my favorite chapters in the Bible, 1 Corinthians 13, especially the final verse: “Now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

Our marriage was a celebration of the hope we held for so long despite the challenges of separation, long-distance communication and doubts about our choice to live in the States. It parallels the Christian journey in which we struggle with our long-distance relationship with God. We question our own commitment, wonder where God is during the lonely, painful times and sometimes even doubt His existence. But we persevere in faith with the hope that one day we will share our love “face to face” (1 Cor. 13:12).

While we wait for that day, Jesus has given us a mission—to introduce others to Him. That mission is the heart of AFM’s work around the world. It is also why we have the AFM GO Fund, which pays for services that make AFM missionaries’ work possible—management, supporter communication, emergency planning, etc. Without the GO Fund, AFM’s missionaries couldn’t share their love for Jesus with unreached people in places like Southeast Asia, West Africa, and Papua New Guinea.

Thank you for being a part of AFM’s work. Someday in Heaven, there will be a great wedding far more beautiful than Claudia’s and mine. And thanks to your support, there will be many more people at “the marriage supper of the Lamb” (Rev. 19:9).

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