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Love in the Afternoon
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LOVE IN THE AFTERNOON - by Trudy Newell
“Trudy, you should get married!”
I looked at my brother-in-law, Bill. He had a goofy smile on his face. Sometimes it’s hard to tell with Bill. Surely he wasn’t serious! A 50 year “old maid” – at least that’s how everyone in the mission viewed me.
I laughed until the tears came. Who, me? No one would be able to live with me, now that I had lived so long along.
Bill was serious, and a few years later he performed the wedding ceremony to prove it!
But, I’m getting ahead of the story.
In January 1998 I arrived in Leicester, England, known as “Little India.” Many Indians live in the Belgrave area near the place I rented sight unseen. Once again I was facing the unknown and unfamiliar. In my life as a missionary I played musical houses a lot and lived simply.
My teammates helped me settle in. So life and ministry among the Gujarati Hindus in Leicester began. Linda introduced me to the ladies in “the group”, we had kid’s clubs, shared meals, and family nights.
A SHORT-TERM MISSIONS TRIP CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE!
In July 1999 a summer short-term team came to help with the kids clubs we planned. Along with eight teenage girls and a couple from Canada, there was a man from California who had lost his wife the previous year, Mike Newell.
As we sat in our team meeting that June, we starred at each other wondering how this man was going to fit it. However, God had a plan!
Mike arrived first and then the gang from Canada. At our first meal altogether Mike asked me, “Do you know Diana J.?”
I broke into a big smile. “Diana! Of course I know her. We were great friends in Iran, and still keep in touch.”
Mike had been in the same CEF Institute class with Diana years before. One thing led to another.
Mike was in Leicester 18 days, but it was long enough for God to work. Before he left, we both knew that something was going on in our hearts. We had to be careful. Eight teenage girls can smell love from a long way off.
At the end of the ministry time, there was a trip to Warwick Castle and Avon-on-Stratton. We had a lengthy conversation and got acquainted. As he flew back to his children’s ministry in California, we thought it was best to put some time and space between us. Thoughts of marriage danced in our heads.
AN INTERNET ROMANCE
We e-mailed at least twice a day. Had email been invented just for us? Then on August 24, 1999 Mike asked me to marry him. You guessed it, over e-mail. I responded YES.
That evening several of us celebrated over apple pie. The team treasurer, a stickler for details, looked at me with a big grin.
“Trudy, I don’t think you can get engaged until it’s approved by the team.”
“You’ve got to be kidding!”
He checked the Mission Manual, and sure enough, the team had to give permission before I could get engaged because Mike was with a different Mission. At the team meeting the next day I wound up with the “recruiter of the year award.” Mike reminded me that it was the only time I could recruit that way.
In October they had a wedding shower for me. You must realize that neither the British nor the Indian community know what a bridal shower is. What fun. The Indian ladies dressed me up as an Indian bride in a red sari. I had more make-up on than I did for the really wedding! Here were the stayed British (I never found out what they thought about all the make-up) and the enthusiastic Indians, neither of them knowing what was going on. It was a night to remember.
THE WEDDING DRESS
I had determined not to spend a fortune on a dress I would only wear a couple of times. The solution was simple. I would wear an Indian outfit. It was my wedding, and as the bride I could do what I wanted. I worked with Hindus, and it was fitting to dress in an Indian way. I could buy a lovely outfit for about $50 and be able to use it later. In my mind the matter was settled.
That was until I talked with Gina Lakhani my good friend. When I shared with her what I had planned, she just looked at me and said: “Trudy you can’t do that!”
Then she whisked me away to her dress-maker. She bought the material for the dress, had the dress made for me, and gave me the veil. The only thing I had to do to complete the outfit was buy shoes.
ONE BLESSING AFTER ANOTHER
All along the way God provided. Obviously He was in charge of this.
I flew to Dallas on Dec. 8, to spend time with my parents and check that things were organized for the wedding. The ladies at the church were so excited, and had things all planned out from decorations, to the rehearsal dinner.
On Dec. 21 I flew to CA to meet Mike’s family. A bit overwhelming. After spending Christmas there we returned to Dallas.
The wedding took place on Jan. 8, 2000. We had a week to spend some time together. We were strangers. Unless we were sure God was in this, we would have been foolish. I laugh, because the first thing I say to anyone planning to get married is be sure you know the person well. Yet, when God is arranging the marriage uniquely as He did for us, it’s best to pay attention.
THE BIG DAY
Mike was staying with a friend in the area. Every morning we had breakfast together. The wedding day was no different. He took me to my hair appointment, and we visited with dad and mom until it was time to go to the church and get dressed. Family from CA to FL had streamed in for the event. My sister, Patricia, was my matron of honor. Her husband, Bill, married us. As my dad and I walked down the aisle, I suddenly realized I was marrying a completed stranger, and it scared me to death. Then I saw Mike waiting for me at the front. The fear went away as I realized this was God’s doing.
If I had my way, we would have been praising and worshipping the Lord for a while! However, common sense prevailed. We did sing “To God be the Glory”. “The Lord’s Prayer” sung as a solo set the tone for the whole ceremony.
Mike and I were not too keen on all the picture-taking, but it has to be done. All we wanted was be alone together and relax. Both of us were exhausted.
After we checked into a hotel for the night, Mike took me to Olive Gardens for supper. I was so excited I couldn’t eat. The next morning we showed up at church, much to everyone’s surprise. From the start we put God first in our marriage. We then had lunch with dad and mom before packing the car and heading for California.
We have been married almost 15 year, and I can say that each year gets better. We continue to work with our Hindu friends in NE Georgia. Quite a different situation than it was in Leicester, with our Hindu friends scatter all over the area.
I’m learning to bloom where I’m planted, and to enjoy serving the Lord wherever He places me.
We have two acres and a dog. My husband preaches and teaches as well as our missionary work. I play the piano at a small country church.
That was afternoon. Now it’s evening and it only gets better. Happiness is being married to Mike!
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