Paul and Andrea: Seeking God's Approval First
Paul and Andrea belonged to the same church and were part of the same youth group and friends circle, playing Uno and hanging out at the same places. They liked everyone in their friends circle… Except each other!!!
Andrea, a lawyer from Chennai, has always aimed for the stars. So when she armed herself with a Masters degree in Public International Law from Utrecht University in the Netherlands and was inducted into the United Nations, she was raring to fulfill her lifelong dream of being a voice for the voiceless.
As for love and marriage…she thought, in a few years, maybe?
Paul , an Assistant Pastor at the Global Christian Life Centre, Gurgaon was born to first generation Christian parents who run a ministry in the small temple town of Tiruvannamalai. He was wary of unnecessary attachments that would steer him off his chosen path, and so made a conscious effort to stay away from heart baring conversations with anyone and everyone.
Paul had decided a long time ago that Andrea was not ‘his type’, and so kept a distance. Andrea, on her part, dismissed Paul as a ‘typical conservative small town guy’. Other than the usual greetings and the periodic necessity of booking a cab together, their communication was near zero.
Haven’t we all heard about defining moments in people’s lives?
October 2nd, 2017. After lunching with the gang at Diggin Cafe, Anand Lok, Paul and Andrea decided to take a cab back as usual. The pickup point was 2 minutes away. But instead, they ended up walking the whole stretch of 8kms – from Siri Fort Road to Qutb Minar Metro Station.
Neither of them can recall how that happened, but what they do know is, that was the first time they had a real conversation. That day, two strangers transformed into two potential soul mates.
“Could this be ‘The One’ knocking at my door?” they both wondered. Was the long walk a foreshadowing that their paths were soon to become one?
Both of them turned to the people they could trust wholeheartedly. Paul turned to his mentor Pastor Jeby John, and Andrea turned to her mum Sabina. Both prayed, and both gave the green signal. Paul needed no more convincing. He took it as a yes from God.
Andrea was the tougher nut to crack. Despite her feelings for Paul, she knew that life as a pastor’s wife would not be easy. Would she have to give up some of her own dreams and aspirations in the process?
This time she sought her answers from God by fasting and praying for three days.
God chose to speak to her through her favourite Biblical character Abraham. When Abraham and Lot decided to go their separate ways, Lot chose ‘the greener side’, but was later defeated by doom and destruction. She then realized that, as seen in Abraham’s life, even though the path seemed dry and craggy, God himself would lead the way.
Andrea surrendered her marriage into God’s hands. After this point, there was no turning back.
14th August 2018-self-funding the festivities
Being involved in ministry, Paul personally knew of several parents who kept aside a huge portion of their savings to marry off their daughters, even if that meant compromising on their education. Hence, despite being cash strapped, the couple took the brave stand of self funding their wedding, raising cries of protest from both sets of parents!
They had decided not to splurge unnecessarily and had no qualms in using their engagements rings as their wedding rings too.
When funds were tight, they relied on God and everything worked out better than their greatest expectations. The run up to their wedding was strewn with countless little miracles, all of which are impossible to note down here, but still fondly cherished by them.
The grand setting on the wedding day was a gift from Mother Nature which was further enhanced by help from friends and family who pitched in to prepare the props in a big way! In this regard, Andrea fondly remembers the untiring efforts of friends Sarah Vaidyanathan, Niri, Steffi, Kiran, Karun and cousin Kezia.
Their 6am sunrise wedding at the panoramic Mahabalipuram beach was attended by 350 of their closest friends and family. During the ceremony, the rain clouds loomed over threateningly, but Paul and Andrea trusted that their God wouldn’t let them down.
Paul laughingly remarks that the heavens put the rains on pause mode just for their wedding and the reception, because as soon as the festivities were over, it poured like there was no tomorrow. Even though the couple organized their wedding on a shoestring budget, their parents now proudly agree that they couldn’t have conducted a more gorgeous wedding for their children.
Jehovah Jireh- the Lord provides. That’s what Paul and Andrea learnt during their wedding season, and they have since remained witnesses to that fact every single day.
The Bride and Groom Recommends:
The Bride’s Gown:
Christian Heritage, Delhi
The Groom’s Attire:
Van Heusen, Chennai
TTDC Beach Resort, Mamallapuram