How did you two meet? Tell us your story!
From Brent: How Rianne and I didn’t meet sooner is beyond me, but it took her sister, Sophie, who wouldn’t let a good thing pass her by to finally put the pieces together. Rianne and I both spent time in Egypt, serving in the very same community only a couple short weeks apart. We may very well have passed each other in the Entebbe airport in Uganda, as Rianne finished up 8 months of ministry there and I landed to begin another stint at mine. We shared common friends, linked by very different circles. So it only made sense that we worked so well together when we finally had the opportunity to meet.
I’ve known Sophie and her husband Jeff for almost ten years, but it was this past year that Sophie, not so secretly, conveniently arranged for both Rianne and I to be at various events and soon we were talking at great lengths. I fell in love with Rianne’s heart, her passion to serve God in the international missions field, her tenderness of family and friends, her sense of humour and her smile. She truly is someone incredibly special and my gift from God Himself.
Tell us about the proposal
Early on Rianne and I realized the direction in which our relationship was heading, so I knew surprising her would be difficult. I set about planning well in advance, telling Rianne that we needed to start having a regular date night, of which I would plan surprise dates. And soon, after several fun and romantic dates doing some of our favorite things, I had Rianne on the edge of her seat, thinking any night could be the night, but slightly let down, thinking it wouldn’t be before her trip to Guatemala to lead a missions team though her role at ‘Hungry for Life.’
On one Friday night I told Rianne I had made reservations in Whistler for dinner, but in my apparent lack of oversight, I had planned them for an unrealistic time for leaving the city when we did. This allowed me to appear stressed, helping to play up the façade and hid my nervousness.
As we drove through the street of Vancouver, I received a call from one of my co-workers, informing me their swing stage was stuck and that they need my help since I was the only other qualified worker. The phone call lasted for minutes, consisted of several offers of ovetime pay for minutes of work and eventually I turned to Rianne and asked her opinion. Thankfully, and not surprisingly, Rianne agreed that we should help my co-workers. We pulled into the parking garage at the Fairmont Pacific Rim and sure enough, they were there, dressed in their gear, to take us up to the roof to help them. I had negotiated that Rianne could come with us to take pictures of the view over Vancouver and Coal Harbour. All four of us took the elevator up 47 floors, climbed two flights of stairs and climbed up the ladder through the service hatch. After quickly showing her the sights I handed her my phone to take photos while I went to “work.”
As she had her back to me, I snuck down to my knee behind her and announced my presence with a “hey you,” and after a short speech and much giggling (her, not me I swear) she finally said “absolutely yes!”