When JP was 20 years old he felt a call from God to go to Asia and start a skateboard company in order to minister to the skateboarders there. He prayed and asked God which city to go to and felt like he heard a specific city.... though he didn't actually know if that place existed. Next he searched a map until he found the exact city that the Lord showed him in prayer.
So he bought a plane ticket to that city. (I told you he was crazy.) After 3 months living in asia he met a skater from England, who had just moved there. Guess why he moved there?... He ALSO felt a call from God to move to that city and start a skateboard company to minister to the skateboarders there!
That was 5 years ago. Today JP and his English friend... and a team of others, are fluent in the language of the country and have devoted their lives to sharing the love of Christ with the skateboarders in that nation- through the skate company that they successfully started!
Now here is where things really get fun for me...
I have a German friend named Eve. She came through YWAM last year, went to Chile with me, and joined staff with Beauty Arise last September. One time when we were in Chile she told me she hated Asia and NEVER wanted to go there.
She said that.
That was true until last October when she came into my bedroom one night and said, "Jess, I think God wants me to go to Asia." The amazing thing is that she wasn't afraid and she didn't hate it. She explained that her heart had been changing, and the more she prayed the more peace and excitement she felt about going to Asia.
During that same time JP, my crazy brother from the beginning of this story, had moved in with us and was getting ready to lead a team of our skateboarders (from Calling All Skaters) to his city in Asia.
Eventually it was decided that Eve would join that team and head over to Asia to do Beauty Arise ministry for girls over there. They all left at the beginning of December.
Okay, I should tell you something. It was a secret at the time, but everyone knows now. JP started falling for Eve basically the first day he met her. Last September. But in his wisdom he didn't tell her.... or anyone really. Because he knew that his future was in Asia. And if she didn't share that calling, then this relationship definitely wouldn't go anywhere. And if the relationship wasn't going anywhere, it was not worth harming Eve's heart by getting romantically involved.
So he kept it a secret. Sort of. Instead of telling her how he felt about her, he started carrying around a little tin in his pocket, and every time he noticed something he liked about her he would write it down and put it in the tin.
In late January I went over to Asia to visit the team. When I first sat down with Evi for coffee, she was literally gushing with love for this country. She was overwhelmed by it. This place that she had once hated, had completely captured her heart... AND she confessed that she had started to "fancy JP". Like A LOT. She hadn't told him yet, but she was confident that she had never met a better man in her life.
In Evi's wisdom she decided not to tell JP how she felt, unless she was confident that God was calling her to live in Asia. She SO believes in his vision, and she wanted to protect him, so she just prayed and waited for God to bring clarity to her heart.
(How awesome is it that BOTH of them were seeking to protect each others' hearts?!)
Anyway fast-forward. Valentine's Day. JP decided it was time to tell Eve how he felt. He went all out. He made her a romantic dinner- her favorite- his version of In N Out burger and fries. (For a 25 year-old man who doesn't know how to cook, in a country that doesn't do burgers... it was totally impressive.) He presented her with the tin, letting her read every napkin, note and receipt that he had used to jot down his favorite things about her. He took her on a boat ride through the city, a walk, and a motorcycle ride at night! (Best first date of a lifetime!!) And they made it official... actually Eve and JP were facebook official "In a Relationship" on February 14th, this year.
It has all been kind of a whirlwind since then. JP & Eve wanted to be married. They were confident in their relationship and sure of their guidance from the Lord to get hitched and serve Him together in Asia. One major piece of the picture was going to be breaking the news to their parents. Mostly HER parents. JP's family loves his radical faith and unique way of doing life- they trust his ability to make choices and hear from God. Evi's family is from a small-town in Germany. They are more traditional and though they completely support her life, they would love it if she would come home and follow Jesus right in her home-town. Anyway, Eve shared with her family that she was hoping to marry JP and live in Asia. She explained her journey with God and that she really believed this was His best for her. andddd GUESS WHAT...... her family agreed with her! They supported her 100% and offered their assistance in planning her wedding!
Next came the hunt for an engagement ring. No big deal. Except that JP didn't have the money for the ring he wanted to get her. Once again, God comes through, a friend approaches JP and offers to pay for the ring in full. !!!!?!??!?!?!!!! Yes. That is our God.
So JP & Eve returned to LA from Asia May 21st. They were engaged two days later and will be getting married in Germany this August! Loved ones near and far are coming together to make this wedding a dream-come-true. (She just found out that she is getting married in a CASTLE!)
Anyway being a part of this story has been a highlight of my life... Eve has been here with me in LA getting things ready.... and I thought it wasn't fair for me to soak up all the goodness of what God is doing here, without letting you be a part of it!
I pray their story is encouraging for you! -- That no matter where you are in life you can be certain that our God is faithful and good. He loves to love us, and His love is unconditional. Continue to trust Him sweet one, and wait for His timing. He will come through for you. The story He is writing with your life is one worth telling! Let Him write it!
Here is the link to a sweet video JP made for Eve's shower Sunday!
Oh!! and PS. JP had never kissed a girl before Eve! (heart-melting I know!!!)
And here are some photos from the Circus-themed bridal shower we hosted for Evi on Sunday!