from agaphey and our facebook groups (before agaphey was formed)

Jeremy came to Redding in 2015, looking for the more of God and to discover his identity in Christ. He had a heart to serve in East Asia and thought the ministry school would help launch him into full time ministry overseas. As he was finishing up his first year of ministry school, he realized God was not calling him into full time ministry. After graduating from his Third Year of ministry school in 2018, he stayed in Redding working construction. It had long been his desire to get married but he had not yet found a wife.

Aimée came to Redding in 2018, after needing some rest after serving West Asia for 4.5 years, she thought a year would do it being a part of the school of ministry at Bethel. The Lord led her on a beautiful journey of healing and empowerment. She finished her Third Year in 2021 and felt led to stay longer, while her heart still looking to the nations and leading trips to unreached peoples. Marriage was something God had put in her heart years ago, but the right man hadn’t yet showed up yet.

At the beginning of 2022 Jeremy decided the strategies he had been employing to meet a wife were not producing the results he was looking for. He decided to take a dating course and join a Christian dating website called agaphey. Jeremy also started to serve on the leadership team of the singles ministry at his church.

Meanwhile, after choosing again to put herself out there, Aimée joined agaphey and decided to serve on a leadership team for the same ministry for singles. One of the first nights after launching the ministry, the Lord prompted her to the front row for worship. After the music ended, a man introduced himself to her, sitting next to where she was standing. This was Jeremy! Jeremy had been invited to also join this leadership team but the two of them had been to opposite planning meetings. Aimée had sent Jeremy a message on agaphey several days prior to meeting him in person, but didn’t realize that it was the same man she had met at the singles ministry. Later he friend requested her on Facebook after meeting in-person but had not seen her message on agaphey. She reluctantly accepted this friend request, realizing it was the same man who she had messaged on agaphey, but not realizing it was the same man who she had just met in person at the singles night.

Later that week, Jeremy saw her message on agaphey and apologized and asked her out for dinner. Even though long term overseas work has less of a pull Jeremy and Aimée are excited about a call to be fathering and mothering nations. They quickly found much in common and ways to connect including their love for all things outdoors, Asia, and Jesus. They started talking about marriage a month into their relationship, got engaged at their three month anniversary and will be getting married six months and one day after Jeremy first asked Aimée to be his girlfriend.

Jeremy and Amy (Engaged, 2022)

My fiancé Brooke and I officially met in the Singles Group last summer! We couldn’t be more excited about getting married and are so blessed that this group exists! So, we know we’re not the first, but hopefully we’ll be the best!  

I also wanted to mention that it hasn’t been all sunshine and roses. There have been some real struggles within our relationship that we have had to push through and make a conscious choice to choose one another because, at the end of the day, commitment means pushing through the pain or even occasional loss of feelings to champion one another! Also, we couldn’t have done it alone. We made a commitment to listen to married couples that were strong in the Lord and not let outside voices from people that were/are within our same season dictate how we operate our relationship. 

All that to say, even if things look rocky and times get tough. Even if you struggle with attraction in the moment or your heart becomes disengaged, there is hope. Lean into Holy Spirit, lean into wisdom, and lean into the choice of love! We love you all!

Jeremy and Brooke (Married Oct. 25th, 2021)

In June 2020, I met my now fiancé in the singles Facebook group Bec started. I was first drawn to some things Nick had shared in the comments in the group. Soon he DM’d me and we hit it off well. A week later we had our first FaceTime.  Just over 6 months later, we got engaged! And we will be married on the 1-year Anniversary of our first FaceTime. Thank you, Bec, for creating a space for like-hearted believers to meet and for love to grow. Nick is beyond what I could’ve asked or imagined. And for anyone out there wondering if you should take the leap and try it, do it! Be open to possibilities. Most of our relationship has been long distance as my fiancée is stationed overseas with the military. The first few times I had initially noticed him, I ruled him out for that reason. But when I opened myself up to the possibility, God met us beautifully. Our relationship isn’t perfect but we have put God in the middle and He has met us every time and walked us through fear and doubts, brought healing, and continually teaches us how to love unconditionally. 

Stephanie and Nick (Married June 14th, 2021)

Our first meeting was straight out of a rom-com! Lisa was cycling to our ministry school, had a flat tire and was very frustrated with God. She was praying for help just as I was cycling past and didn’t see me coming, so she actually thought I was an angel at first. Seriously! But as I fixed her puncture for her, she realised that angels don’t wear school badges. It would be great to say it was love at first sight, but it wasn’t. We actually only had one other conversation later on at school, which Lisa describes as ‘awkward’. No attraction, no further interest for either of us. So she went back to Germany and I went back to the UK.

Three years later, we were both still frustratingly single and joined the  Singles group that Bec ran. Lisa put up a couple of pictures and a bit about herself and I noticed the anti-trafficking part and decided to reach out. So we started messaging. She recognised me as being in the same class, I didn’t recognise her despite the fact we were in the same social justice track. Awkward again. And then the conversation just died. 

A couple of weeks later, we got on to the European ‘Get-to-know-you’ event that Bec was running and we were chatting in a breakout room. Lisa and I started messaging again and I could sense that if we didn’t actually talk it would die again, so we arranged a Zoom call and then kept going. Neither of us wanted long distance, but as we were talking we found it was worth it! This was when we really clicked – we started being very vulnerable (something I learnt in second year), talking about where this was going and being very intentional about spending time. We were actually so deep at first that my concern was that we didn’t know how to have fun together.

I began to really like Lisa and knew that it was time to meet, so we arranged a time and I booked a flight to Germany. And we had fun, which was a relief! The peace that we both felt in each other’s presence and the vulnerability we were able to share was beautiful. We could also feel the Presence when we prayed and worshiped together every time. So we officially started dating just after that. We went in the relationship with an open outcome, heading for marriage but OK if it didn’t get there. But after visiting between countries for a few months, we got engaged at Christmas. 

We are really excited and dreaming together with God about the future. And planning a wedding!

 James and Lisa (Married Sep. 1st, 2021)

Benjy and I did ministry school  at the same time 10 years ago. We had a lot of mutual friends, but only knew each other on an acquaintance level. I had noticed him at a friend’s party during 2nd year. I thought he was cute and funny, and tried to chat him up. LOL! But then school ended and he moved back to Canada and we lost contact for several years.

Last December, Benjy posted in the singles group that he might be going to one of the local singles events that Bec was hosting. And I was surprised because I believed he was still in Canada. So, I reached out to him and asked if he’d like to get coffee to reminisce about school and share news with each other about our mutual friends. He agreed right away and suggested a time and location.

    Both of us showed up to that first coffee not sure if it was a date or just a friendly catch-up. We ended up hanging out and chatting for 6 hours that first day. Later on, we both ended up hanging out together after the singles event, talking more. And the rest is history.

    Last night, on the banks of the Sacramento River, he asked me to become his wife and I said yes!!!

    I am so grateful that I went to that coffee meet-up back in Dec (and that I decided to dress cute, just in case it was a date ).

   I want to thank Bec for creating this platform for all of us (I probably would never have known Benjy was here in town if it was not for this singles group). Also, I want to encourage everyone to stay hopeful (we later found out that we both had been separately given prophetic words in 2nd year that we would meet our spouse that year, and it turns out those words were correct. I left school feeling a little discouraged that it had not happened. But how was I to know those words wouldn’t be fulfilled until 10 years later?!?)

  Stay hopeful! Hold onto the promises of God over your life! And stay open to possibilities (you never know how, when or where you are going to go on that last first-date)

Ashlee and Benjy (Married August 28th, 2021)

At my request in June 2020, Bec introduced me to the lovely Michelle via FB Messenger. Though we felt a connection during the first few weeks of chatting, neither of us were in a place we felt a desire to make a long-distance relationship work.

We stayed in contact, though infrequently, and when I came back to Redding in April 2021 we finally met in person for a hike. We hadn’t intended to become anything more than friends. We simply enjoyed talking about anything and everything and discovering more about each other. I reveled in the way she not only enjoyed my humor, but also joined along in the fun. After she beat me in mini-golf and took me to the palisades to eat ice cream and watch the sunset over the Sacramento River, I realized I wanted a deeper connection.

I laid my feelings bare before her soon after and discovered she’d been far more interested in me than I knew. 4 months later, we’re enjoying a trip to visit her family in Colorado. We’re so happy we said, “Yes” to a low-stakes hiking date where we were free to be ourselves.

Encouragement if you’ve been in the group a while and nothing has happened yet:

-Be brave. This dating thing is HARD and it requires so much courage, but you got what it takes.

-Stay open and get to know all kinds of people (e.g. Say yes to a date you normally wouldn’t have, or better yet, ask someone out). Taking a risk will get the “No” sticker off your forehead and will change everything for you.

-Timing is important, so be patient. I wish I would have started dating Michelle a year ago, but we honestly weren’t ready.

-Keep improving yourself. Take that art or dance class you’ve been thinking about. Sign up for Jiu Jitsu or a gym membership. Discover what you love about you. Find the adventure your heart is craving and see who around you is having just as much fun. Get some relational and emotional health tools. Michelle and I both took a dating course. Without it, I don’t know I would have been equipped to handle or be open to the long-distance.

-Daddy God is for you and gave you desires he fully intends to fulfill. You are not in this alone.

Jesus is on the hunt to bring Kingdom couples together for this season! Don’t give up! Dig deep and try again! Bless you all with courage and peace!

Your adventure begins today!

Adam and Michelle (Engaged January 3rd, 2022)

It was a rather chilly morning in late January when I sat at my desk and logged onto Facebook. The first thing that appeared was a Facebook Live from Igniting Hope Ministries. There was this absolutely stunning woman speaking. I listened to the entire video and walked away saying to myself, “I would love to meet her.”
I thought about the woman from the Facebook Live for the next couple of days. In the midst of my thinking, I thought to check if she may be in the Singles group. To my surprise and excitement, she was. I began to formulate a plan utilizing elite levels of strategy. I also noticed we have a mutual friend, so I reached out to our friend and explained the situation. She offered to introduce me and let her know I would be messaging her. I liked this plan. I didn’t want to just be a random man messaging her and risk forever remaining relegated to her message request folder.
In short order, we were messaging each other, but I wanted to meet her in person. After just a few messages, I asked if she would like to have coffee with me. She said yes! A couple of days later, we were sipping lattes and admiring the moose head mounted above our heads at a local coffee establishment.
After only a few dates, we quickly realized God was in the midst of our story — far beyond anything we could have imagined. Five months later, we flew to Texas to meet each other’s parents. Soon after meeting her family, I asked her dad for his permission to propose. He was very gracious and gave his blessing. The next day she and I were walking along the beach at sunset. Nervously, I began to tell her a beautiful story I had saved for that moment. The sun was fading quickly as I took a knee in the sand and asked her if she would marry me. She said yes!
We were very excited and knew we wanted to get married quickly, so we put together a plan to get married in a little over two months. Somehow, we pulled it off. A few minutes past 4:00pm on September 19, 2021, we found ourselves standing in front of God, family, and friends as we exchanged our vows to one another. We were now husband and wife. It’s funny how it all began with a Facebook Live — especially since I had never seen a post from Igniting Hope until that day. To be honest, I would not have thought she was single if it were not for seeing her in the BSSM Singles group. As soon as I saw that, I knew I had to give it a shot. I’ve learned it isn’t the risks taken I regret — but the risks I never took. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Andy and Michelle (Married November 24th, 2021)

I was on the singles Facebook group for a few months not planning on posting anything or finding my husband on that page but enjoying the environment and reading the questions and opinions others had on topics regarding the world of dating.

During this time, I was praying that God would send my husband to me during the pandemic. At the end of June, I felt God tell me to post an introduction in the singles group. I struggled with the thought of doing that because I am an introvert and do not like putting myself out there.

Before I went to BSSM in 2013-2014, I went to another Ministry school in Toronto at Catch the Fire. Around the time God was telling me to post an introduction, I had an alumni zoom meeting with CTF where a present student gave me a prophetic word about God telling me to jump in and go for it. The student did not know what the word meant, however; I knew the meaning behind that prophetic word the student gave me.

I wrestled with the idea of putting myself out there for a few more days but on July 2nd, 2020, I decided to post an introduction about myself in the singles group. Within the hour, I got a message from a guy named Kevin who was also from Ontario, Canada. We chatted through Facebook messenger for about a month until he asked if I would like to do a video chat.

Our first video chat was the first of several 3-hour long video chats. As we continued to get to know each other via Facebook messenger and video chats, Kevin decided to move forward with the relationship. Even though we never met in person because I was going to university in Canada and he was doing his second year of BSSM in California, we decided to make things official on October 4th, 2020.

In December of 2020, I was finally able to meet Kevin in person during Christmas break. For the first time in person, we spent two weeks together spending time getting to know my family, as well as his family. Once the Christmas break was over, we went back to dating online again since we both went to school in different countries. Online was great, however, it was not as good as being in person.

Both Kevin and I, as well as other mentors and family members, felt that God was telling us to get married in the summer of 2021. There were a lot of prayers and talking to mentors however, on February 14th, 2021, Kevin proposed to me via a zoom dinner date.

Kevin and I were mostly online when we planned our wedding and finished up school. I got to see Kevin in person again in June and spent June and July jumping back and forth between living with my parents and Kevin’s parents. Kevin and I got married on August 7th, 2021. Right after our honeymoon in Mexico, Kevin and I drove to Redding California so that Kevin could finish his third year at BSSM…..and that’s where we are right now.

Kevin and Kendra (Married August 7th, 2021)

Long distance is possible!!! [Written together ish with Maaria]
Hey everyone! Just thought I’d hop on here and give a quick testimony! I actually posted on here back in the fall of 2020 introducing myself, and lo and behold, a beautiful girl from Finland responded to my ad. Living in Toronto, Canada, I was super skeptical in the beginning and really didn’t like the idea of long distance but after hearing a success story from an international couple who met over IG I was inspired to at least keep an open mind. On top of that, she did an amazing job showing me that if you have the desire, you can really make anything happen. This was a huge stretch because not long before I wouldn’t even respond to online dating potentials who were over half an hour outside my city haha.
Neither of us really knew at all what we were getting into. It didn’t take long for the all the pain to come up from childhood stuff and past relationships – this is actually the secret blessing with close relationships! The fantasy bubble got burst pretty quickly, which I highly recommend popping asap. Not to mention how flipping weird it is travelling so far to meet someone for the first time! It was very easy for us to interpret our own triggers as red flags, and even easier at times to think this wasn’t God’s best whenever something was hard. However, we continue to discover that the bumpiness on the road to intimacy and vulnerability and letting love in can often be a sign you’re heading in the right direction, not the wrong one.
Anyways, long story short, despite a pandemic we made a number of trips back and forth and now we are engaged to be married this summer! Thought we’d give some hope to the skeptics or the anti-long-distancers out there like I was, or anyone who isn’t necessarily feeling a “spark” but wants to keep persevering in dating. At the end of the day it really is less about how you start and more about how you grow and continue, and our love for each other in our hearts keeps growing! We’d encourage anyone reading to not be afraid of your triggers, knowing that the movies aren’t real life, and that mess isn’t something to be afraid of. Let mature people into your journey. Every couple’s story is unique and comparison has to die!
Thanks Bec for starting this group. Happy worldwide dating!
PS International dating can be very fun and exciting for any adventurous hearts out there!
Timothy and Maaria (wedding date July, 2022)
January 2022 I started the year with a fast and prayer for my future husband. A friend of mine had started a group for this and since I had been waiting and praying in this regard for a long time and wanted change, I naturally joined in. Interestingly enough, fasting brought out all kinds of (not so nice) things in my heart that surprised and amazed me. My response was to invite God to heal me and bring change. And how incredibly beautiful it is when God hears and responds to our prayers.
In the midst of various processes in my heart and in the midst of praying and fasting, one day I heard God’s voice very clearly, “Introduce yourself to this group and see what happens.”
To be honest, I had considered leaving the group a few times already, as I was just a silent, non- active observer (I know, this is NOT how you should do it…) But since I now know God’s voice well and (mostly) trust it, I thought it couldn’t hurt and I could write something. That’s what I did (on January 25th) only to question everything completely not even 5 minutes after I was done. Thank God I had already sent it and didn’t want to undo it.
Besides a few nice comments and friendly greetings, I got a first message from a certain Danny James a few hours later. He was not very active in the group either at this point and ready to give up, when Camille reached out to him, told him about my post and encouraged him to write to me.
He bravely took this advice, for which I will be eternally grateful!
That’s how our contact came about and from there we started getting to know each other. Although he was very kind, honering and respectful from the beginning, I was a bit hesitant. This had to do with the various things in my heart that were not yet healed.
But God was so involved in our friendship from the beginning (I would even say He initiated it!) that He brought healing to my heart in various ways (even through a visit at the dentist…) and showed me that James has a crucial part in this healing process.
There were so many different details that confirmed that God is for this friendship, and we experienced His guidance and support in so many ways that after just a short time of getting to know each other, we both knew that our meeting was not a coincidence.
Through many long conversations, we quickly realized that we like each other, that we have a lot in common, that our hearts burn for the same things and that we are a very good match for each other.
In April, we met for the first time in Herrnhut, Germany and “officially” began our relationship on what we lovingly call the „prayer tower“.
Pretty soon after that, we started to talk about the future. Without me knowing, he asked God when it would be a good time to propose and he heard Psalm 23:5 from Him. After thinking about it for some time, he realized that yes, he could derive a date from the verse….
Therefore on 23.05.2022 he surprised me with another visit. At a spring in the forest called Zinzendorfruh, which has a deeper meaning for both of us, he got down on his knee and asked me to marry him. Afterwards we walked to the tower where friends had prepared a beautiful picnic for us and where we could celebrate this special step in our lives.
If I didn’t know how much God was and is involved in our relationship, I would say that everything is a little crazy. But this way I can say it is all very guided. Our wedding will be on November 5th, exactly 7 months after we started our relationship.
We are so incredibly blessed by each other and are speechless when we think about how God knew exactly what we needed and how He led us to each other. He is faithful and has such good plans for each one of us.

Danny and Andrea  (to me married on November 5th, 2022)

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