So the BIG NEWS is
that Felipe and I are officially ENGAGED!
I have been sharing the news little by little, in an effort to tell people personally, but now I am officially telling the WORLD!
Felipe did a wonderful job with the proposal! He had a lovely table set up overlooking the grand city of Belo Horizonte and also the slum where we live. This part is kind of funny- we ate pizza and drank coke! In an effort to surprise me, he had the table set up and was doing the last finishing touches on everything while I was preparing our dinner - heating our frozen pizza in the oven. When I had it all ready Felipe grabbed the steaming pizza and said, "We are going to eat somewhere special tonight."
Our special table was covered in a white lace tablecloth with nice dishes (which are only used on special occassions at the Light House). Felipe even bought candles and really cool flower shaped candle holders in honor of the special night. It was just at the end of sunset, the sky was beautiful and the lights of the city and on the hillside where the slum is located were all lit up and sparkling.
Here are some night photos that kind of shows you the view... I did not actually take any photos on this special night because I did not know what was going on... and once I knew, I just wanted to enjoy the moment!
Felipe also had his laptop set up and a latern set up near our special table- to give us light. The laptop was playing the song - "You are so beautiful to Me." He actually played this song on the guitar and sang it personally to me the night he asked if I would begin a relationship with him.
Actually this proposal was very similar to our first night of talking and then deciding to begin a relationship. Felipe planned it that way. He wanted significant things to be a part of this night as well.
Felipe took me to stand under our special tree (where we had our first serious talk and decided to start dating), which was just a few steps away from the table. He had me close my eyes and wait for him while he was going to get something. He had hidden a dozen roses for me and ran to go get them while I was waiting with eyes squeezed shut. I could hear the crinkling of the plastic wrapped around the roses and thought, "Wow, he is getting something big." He told me to open my eyes and before me were a beautiful bouquet of red roses.
Felipe began to speak many many beautiful things about LOVE to me (unfortunately I can not remember everything that he said because it was such an emotional night!). He told me for the first time, "I love you" and he explained that he only wanted to say that to me when he could follow it up with a commitment because love is not just a feeling but a commitment, a choice.
At this moment he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. He had a small heart shaped red box in his hand and opened it revealing a beautiful and simple, gold diamond ring. I was shocked and happy and felt many emotions all at once!
I said YES and then we sat under the tree talking for quite a while. It was a special special night!
I was very surprised! AND was very happy to hear that Felipe spoke with my parents, via email, asking them if he could ask me to marry him. This was one of the first things he told me as he was asking me to marry him. He said, "I have talked with your parents and they have given me permission to ask you..." That was really important to me that he speak with my family.
We are SUPER happy and hoping to marry in the United States this fall sometime, but it all depends if Felipe can get a visa to come to the USA. Unfortunately, because there are many illegal immigrants living in the USA it is a very strict process for foreigners to enter the country.
If all goes well and we get the visa, Felipe and I are planning to visit family and friends, get married, and afterwards share about the Light House Community Center while in the US.
FOR SURE- we are coming back to Brazil to live and work with YWAM in the Cafezal slum. Felipe is the director and team leader at the Light House Community Center, and we both feel God is leading us to stay in the slum to continue to build deeper relationships with the children and families living there.
Please pray for us...
As a couple, the ministry of the Light House Community Center, and our plans for the year of 2009 to hopefully come to the US to enjoy family and friends and share personally about all God is doing here in Brazil...
Also, PLEASE pray for Felipe's VISA process!
Praise the LORD, O my soul!
All my inmost being, praise His holy name!
Praise the LORD, O my soul and forget not all His benefits- who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.