Starting from the beginning of February, sixteen couples shared their “Love Stories” in this blog, leading us to this celebration of St. Valentine’s day and drawing us closer to the Source of their love. However, the beauty of a sacramental marriage continues – beyond the St. Valentine’s day, beyond Ash Wednesday, into the Lent, and all through life. Here is another proof> Happy reading!
I knew Claudine, since 2012, as one of my sisters in Emmanuel community in Kigali, Rwanda. In 2013, we have been assigned a mission of taking care of youths of Emmanuel community in Kigali. While fulfilling our mission together, I really got to know who Claudine is, especially her compassionate and joyful heart.
In August 2014, at the end of our mission, I was already falling in love with her. One day, I invited her to a restaurant with intention of revealing my love to her. At that time, she was in a process of ending another relationship which was not fruitful to her. That’s why, I did not get her “yes” that day and I was respectful to that. However, I did not get discouraged because I was feeling she is the one to be my wife!
One month later, on September 14, 2014, I and Claudine committed ourselves in the Emmanuel Community. In the evening of the same day, I accompanied her at home. She was ready to say “yes” to me and we made a second commitment of love. The only thing we did after those two unforgettable events of our life, was to praise the Lord together.
After one year of love together, we started a school of fiancés (animated by Emmanuel Community in Kigali) to get prepared to our marriage sacrament in summer 2016. Meanwhile, Claudine got an opportunity for studies in United Stated and I got one in Belgium. It was so hard for us to get separated. Despite that, we maintained our plan of getting married in summer 2016.
The day before Claudine’s departure to United States, I asked her to marry me, before many of our friends and family members, including her late mother. She said, “yes, I will!”. I let her go to study without any doubt that we will meet again in Rwanda, during our holidays, to celebrate our marriage sacrament. I humbly thank God for He made it.
God is so amazing! In the same Emmanuel Community, Serge and I were meeting in more than one service. The youth service was the one we were assigned, but we were meeting in other Emmanuel Community services, such as liturgy, perpetual adoration, choir, youth forum, etc. We were close friends, but I did not know he loved me to be his wife.
I was surprised to hear him proposing to me. I got confused because I was trying to peacefully end my first relationship when Serge came. I knew him as a decent person with faith, intelligent, joyful and cool. I did not know much about his past, family or his siblings. However, I couldn’t stress out thinking about all of the above. He was the one who mattered. I said yes after a month of reflection, accompaniment, and praying. It was not difficult for both of us because we had had time to know each other before getting into relationship.
Our wedding took place on August 6, 2016, on the Transfiguration of our Lord Jesus. Our brothers and sisters from Emmanuel Community and our families organized everything and were there to support our union. 2016 was the year of Divine Mercy and we did whatever we could to let people know the Divine Mercy during our wedding.
After only a week as a married couple, I came back to school and he went back to Belgium after few weeks. It was difficult to be alone again, but God didn’t abandon us and the family Gratien and Hortense (members of Emmanuel Community in Texas) was there for us. We prayed for our reunion and by God’s grace we are together again. Serge joined me last October after his graduation. My graduation will be this May. We are thankful to God for all he did for us and we feel blessed for we recently found out that we are waiting our first-born. Great is God’s mercy!
Claudine & Serge (TX)