Our Love Story
I shall start off our blog & website by sharing with you how Huizhi and I met and how our relationship and love blossomed since knowing each other.
How we met each other
Huizhi & I met during VFC Church Camp (2005) in KL. That year, church camp was special. Unlike previous years, it was not a corporate church camp where everyone from our church 6 main regions would gather together for camp. Instead, for the purpose of logistics and closer fellowship, my region and Huizhi's region combined together for church camp.
I still remember vividly how it all began. It was one fine morning when I was not on duty. Sleeping in a bit more, I went down slightly later for breakfast. By the time I got down, the table which my region (R1/2) worship ministry team was sitting was fully occupied. Looking around, I noticed that the adjacent table was occupied by Huizhi's region (R3/4) worship team members. Knowing them but not very well, I thought to myself that it is better to sit with them whom I can relate with (same worship ministry) than to sit in other tables where I may not even know anyone at all. So, it all begin with a simple breakfast during church camp when someone from Huizhi's region introduced her to me. =)
How we got interested in each other
Since 14yrs, I have a very clear calling from God to reach out and be a blessing to the people in China. When I learned that Huizhi has gone for mission for 1.5years to HK & China after she graduated from NTU Accountancy, I was very impressed and amazed with her as not many people I know of from NTU Accountancy would be willing to give up a career in the corporate world to pursue even their dreams. Economically speaking, the opportunity cost to go for mission would be very higher. However, I did not have many opportunities to talk to her during the camp.
How our friendship grew
Being resourceful =P , I found her profile on Friendster and private message her to find out how she is and if she has a MSN account. She gave me her MSN ID and we started chatting regularly on MSN... =)
After a while, I took initiative to ask her out for lunch. She said ok. I was very happy yet nervous as it was our first time meeting after church camp. To avoid awkwardness, Huizhi brought her sister Huixian along while I invited Kin Mun to join me for lunch at Bishan.
We started to meet for more meals. Soon, our friendship began to grow. =) As I had to go over to China with Samuel for a period of a year, we could not move beyond friendship into courtship in 2006 as much as I hoped and desired. With regular chat in the evening over skype and MSN in 2006, our friendship was maintained. It was not easy but thank God for His strength and grace in helping us maintain our friendship despite the long distance apart. =)
After I came back to Singapore from China at the end of 2006, we started meeting up again. It was very clear to both of us that we are ready to progress into the next phase of our relationship (courtship) and work towards the potential of getting married and committing to each other. With blessing and approval from our pastors, on 7th March 2007, I asked her if she is willing to be my girlfriend. Without any hesistation, she agreed. There was such an unspeakable joy in my heart. =)
Our courtship was very enjoyable and memorable even as we began to spend more time together talking, walking along the beach, praying together, having meals together etc . During this period, we learn more about each other likes and dislikes, strength and weakness, goals and dreams.
How I proposed to Huizhi
At the end of September 2007, I felt that the time was right for us to seriously commit to each other. Even though our courtship period may not seem to be as long as many other couples, I felt that Huizhi and I are serious about our relationship and we are ready to commit to each other for life. With this in mind, I began looking for a diamond ring to propose and express my love and commitment to Huizhi. On the 21st October 2007 (Sunday), after morning service, I arranged for the flowers and tea-light candles to be at a beach restaurant along Pasir Ris beach. After evening service, I told Huizhi that I would love to go for a meal at the Pasir Ris Beach. Not sure if she suspected anything (anyway, fyi, I am not someone who is good at keeping a secret when I am excited), she agreed. It was a relaxing dinner as we had our sitting position facing the sea on the sandy beach itself on a very special type of beach bench. With love songs playing in the background, the mood was set. After dinner, with some prior tie-downs with the restaurant manager, out came the flowers and the special tea-light candle arranged into a heart-shaped. On bended knees, I took out the ring and express to her how much I love her asked her if she is willing to marry me and spend her whole life with me. With a big smile on her face, she said YES!!!
With this definite Yes!, our relationship went up another level. =)
Praise the Lord. =)
From Hui Zhi's perspective
After so much that Bernard has written, here's my side of the story...
Returning from missions in June 2004 (the week before church camp), I told the Lord that I wanted to spend one year getting myself back into ministry and to start building my career profile before considering a relationship. And it is exactly one year later (at 2005 church camp) that I met Bernard. =)
It was with much excitement at the breakfast table that I found out that he has graduated from NTU accountancy and more importantly with a burden for China. And when he approached me later in the service hall, I shared with him about my stint, hoping that maybe he'll go for missions just like me.
In fact, we've even more things in common: A love for God and our families, aunts that brought us to the Lord when we were young, being around Roi hall during New World days, our interests, beliefs and thinking. There were many times, even in the early days of our relationship, that we'll happen to say the same things at the same time, sometimes in person, sometimes through SMS or MSN. =) All these, with the timing of his 'appearance' in my life just adds to the confirmation that "Yes", he is the one!
Throughout our relationship, he's been ever so thoughtful and understanding, always being there for me (and even for my family and friends too). Fetching me from school, buying lunch for me when I'm ill, entertaining me when I'm feeling down, staying by my side while I do my marking, little bouquets and the frequent "I love you".
I've also learned a lot through his dealing with people, through the stories that he shares. It is indeed iron sharpening iron. It is in this way that we grow together.
Moving into courtship and now marriage is a natural progression.