Our History

Where it all started...

Once upon a time in a far away land.... OK, I'll be serious. It all started with a meeting with my Pastor about an opportunity to go to Papua New Guinea but a lot of time would have elapsed before I would been able to go. Then a door opened for me to go to Germany within a couple of months and I jumped at the opportunity. Many people gave me a hard time about finding someone over there but I refused to believe it. I kept telling myself that this was NOT the reason that I was going (which was true).

I was not looking for my knight in shining armor since I was planning on going to college that fall. I still had 4 years of school ahead of me and many chances to meet the man of my dreams (so I thought). My pastor announced from the pulpit that there were some people coming from the States to work in our church's printing ministry. The first one to come was a "Patrick Byrnes", age 24. My mom nudged me but no one else said anything since Pastor said to not scare the visitors off with match-making. I was curious about him but thought nothing more.

Love At First Sight?

No, it was not love at first sight for me. The first time I saw Iris was at the Street-meeting. I thought she was attractive but nothing more. She never really entered my mind much after that.
My first Wednesday in Germany was a German Bible Study and we ended up singing the entire evening. It was my first chance to get to know some of the church family. I got a chance to sing with Pastor Castellaw and Iris and to show my mandolin skills. ☺That is when I first started to notice and watch Iris.

It was Friday and Pastor Castellaw took me on a tour in Heidelberg. We had a chance to talk and get to know each other.He asked me if I had a girlfriend in the States. I said no. He then said: "I don't know what kind of girl you are looking for but Iris is a top-notch young lady." It just so happened that I saw Iris walk by shortly after that conversation. From that day forward I began to pray, fast and watch Iris very closely.

Love at first sight? Nope. Of course I wanted to see the guy who I've heard so much about. I saw him standing holding a banner at the streetmeeting. I noticed he had blond hair (check) but after that didn't think much of it.

Wednesday was a special mark in me noticing Patrick, too. He could sing, play guitar and mandolin. I was very impressed with his musical abilities, a important fact on my wish list. I started to become interested in this man and wanted to get to know him better over time.
Though I was the one to be attracted first I definitely was the one to show it last.

Us at Europa Park with friends

The possibility of romance ♥

Where do I start? After the conversation with Pastor Castellaw about Iris I would watch her and if I heard her name in someone's conversation my ears would perk up with curiosity. I tried to learn as much as I could about her without having to ask questions because I did not want anyone to know I was interested. I was happy to play guitar for her and another lady from church. It was an excuse to talk to her. ☺

I was always praying to the Lord if she was the one he wanted for me but at the same time I would tell him that that was not why I was here. It was an internal struggle. The more I became interested and thought about her the more I prayed and fasted, asking God to show me what to do.

From the first Sunday Patrick was here we started singing specials with Pastor. We would stay after church and practice songs with Pastor.  I was also planning a song for Mother's day with another lady from church and we asked Patrick to play the guitar for us. During practice we were able to talk a bit and I got to know him more.
Where I really got to know him was at the work-nights at the print shop building. I'd come over to help (maybe more than one reason...) and sometimes we would get to talking. One incident that made our relationship known to my dad was when we both were working on the bathroom wall in the building. Between sanding, putting on the base and coloring the wall there was a lot of time to talk. ☺ There is when we started to get to know the real us.

Between working at the building, being invited over at the Freis (the family he stayed with), and church activities I came to like this guy more and more. I was honest with myself, I liked him but mutual interest did not mean anything serious would happen. So on the end of the day..."I am going to college and my prince is not coming anytime soon!" Well...

♪♫ Us singing the Mother's Day song. ♪♫

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