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The Middle Ground
Dedicated to Our Family and Friends
Submitted by Heidi
Heidi was born in a small, rural town on the first day of school in 1978. She is the daughter of teachers. As a kid she enjoyed going to camp, playing jokes on/with her brother and traveling with the family. In high school Heidi was involved in making costumes for the theater, helping with Gymnastics and anything that included German. She was also involved in the church youth group and its related activities. Heidi moved to Chicago in 1997 to enter college. In October 2001 she moved to Tokyo to serve as a Volunteer Youth Missionary for 2 1/2 years. In April of 2002 Heidi began working at a church in Tokyo.
Shinri was born in a small, rural town on a Sunday morning in 1974. He is the son of a pastor and a teacher. As a kid he enjoyed playing baseball, being the "big brother" and watching the stars. In high school Shinri was involved in track, clubs and he studied English classes. He was also involved in the church and its related activities. Shinri moved to Tokyo in 1992 to go to college. In March 2000 he became the pastor at Suginami Seishin Lutheran Church in Tokyo
During the course of the first two years of working together we learned many things about each other. When I shared a bit about our personal histories with my friend Amanda, she said, "Heidi, can't you see that God has put you two together?" Where else would I find a guy who knows German, loves camping and the outdoors and can understand many of my other "quirky" interests?
Other people had been saying similar things. Some even thought we were
dating in secret. There was a chemistry, an understanding, something that we couldn't really explain. Yet, because of the positions we were in, we didn't feel free to have a romantic relationship. I had fears about how church members would react. We also didn't want to risk messing that up our friendship.
Over time, the question changed from, "Does he/she really like me?" to "I know God is putting us together, so what is next?" As we talked to our families and closest friends, no one seemed to be surprised. They had seen what was happening and were waiting for us to take notice. God had lined up everything so perfectly!
We have enjoyed being partners in ministry over the past few years. Now
we are looking forward to being lifelong partners.
Next March we will get married in Honolulu, Hawaii. It
seems to be a good "halfway" point in culture, distance and language. We have been able to plan a bilingual, bicultural wedding to celebrate the beginning of our marriage. Every day we get a little bit more excited about our "Hawaii Wedding".