Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: MAIL (02/18/16)
- TITLE: Love Letters in the Air
By Trudy Newell
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I rubbed the sleepy out of my eyes and watched my computer boot up. It was four a.m. My heart fluttered as I waited to see if I had an e-mail from Mike yet. Sure enough, there it was. I sipped my coffee as I read the letter several times. It hadn’t been in our plan, but here we were very much in love. Twice a day I would check the e-mail, and twice a day there would be one waiting. It was August 24, 1999. A day I will never forget.
After eighteen days in England on a short-term missions trip, Mike returned to California the first part of August. We both felt it best to put some time and distance between us before we further considered marriage. Six thousand miles was a long way. E-mail helped to make the distance shorter. Geeta, my special Indian sister, kidded me about ‘smoke going up my chimney’ from my computer.
Indian Family Camp was in the middle of August. There was no internet connection at camp. Geeta finally took pity on me, and at eleven p.m. we drove to Leicester so I could check my e-mail. We returned to camp about one a.m. I am not a night owl!
My birthday was also at camp. Geeta made a birthday cake with a house and smoke going out the chimney. None of the campers knew what it was about, but the cooks and I had a good laugh.
I treasured every communication with Mike. But August 24 was different. I read his e-mail and I knew he was the only one for me. All day I was restless. Nothing seemed to fit together. It was Tuesday. There was ‘Kid’s club’ at church in the evening, so Geeta picked me up from the church. That night we decided on Indian take-away and headed to my house.
I checked email while she set the table. What a surprise when I saw the very brief e-mail “Will you marry me?” My heart and fingers answered with a big “Yes.”
Geeta looked at me when I came downstairs. “You’re blushing! What’s going on?”
I stammered, “Mike asked me to marry him, and I said ‘yes’.”
I called my missionary teammates, and told them the news. Linda asked Geeta and I to come over and celebrate with some apple pie. As we savored the pie, Oliver, our treasurer and always a stickler for details, grinned.
“Trudy, you can’t get engaged. It’s against Mission policy. Mike’s a member of another mission. You have to have Team approval.”
The next day we had a Team meeting. They named me the ‘recruiter of the year’ for our Mission. Yes, my engagement to Mike was approved. When I told Mike about this, he reminded me that this was the only time I could recruit for the Mission in this way.
Thus began our long-distance courtship. Strange as it may seem, God truly helped us to get to know each other as the e-mails flew back and forth.
Right after that I found out another way e-mail was used in this budding romance. Mike e-mailed my Dad to ask permission to marry me. I thought this was so sweet. My Mike has always done the honorable thing. When dad saw the mail from this strange person, he was afraid to open it. It was over a week before he gave his approval. I had already told them about Mike, but I had to call and let them know that there was an e-mail waiting for them from Mike.
Mike and I kept the internet busy. I was convinced that e-mail was invented just so Mike and I could court. Then it happened. As Geeta had predicted, my computer crashed. November 5 was a sad day, and our ‘love letters’ ceased. What were we going to do?
It was British Telecommunications to the rescue. The first of November they ran a special of 3 pence per minute to the States. Our twice a day e-mails turned into a once a day, much shorter but satisfying, phone call.
On December 8, 1999 I boarded a plane, and left England as a single missionary. Eight months later I returned with Mike to serve the Lord among our Hindu friends together. No longer were ‘love letters in the air’ necessary.
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