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~ John & Cheryl’s Engagement Story ~

November 12, 2009
(In Cheryl’s words)

and I met in Hawaii 5 years ago during their first family visit to
Hawaii. At that time, I was working at the mall and just so happened,
or shall we say by divine appointment, John showed up and introduced
himself along with his brother Luke. A couple of days later, I was up
on stage at church singing when he walked in, all surprised… Neither
of us knew we were going to meet again. It happened to be that his
family was already scheduled to minister at our church. Since then,
John and I became friends and we would keep in touch from time to time.

We connected more the beginning of this year and since then our
friendship grew stronger each time we talked on the phone and in
person. A few months later, John asked my parents if he could date me
and, of course, they agreed. (John: hwew.. 🙂

John had to leave for Asia for two months and within that time period I
was back home in California anticipating for his return. The days felt
like weeks and the months felt like years. There were many times I
wished I had the money to just hop on a plane and meet him wherever he
was at! 🙂

Two months finally came! After I picked him from the airport on July
29th, John insisted that we should go visit Santa Monica pier—the
same pier where we watched our first sunset together in February
(2009). I knew he was tired and I thought he wanted to go there and
just chill and relax. After we parked, we headed down to the pier and
walked the same path where he told me he liked me for the first time.

As we approached the top of the hill leading down to the pier, John
pulled out a pouch from his backpack with something in it and told me
that I wasn’t allowed to touch, guess, or feel until we got to the end.
The first thing that came to mind was a bracelet—-nothing too

we were walking side by side towards the end of the pier, John turned
to me and asked “Do you think this pier will have our name on it
forever?” I said “Yes, I think so,” laughing softly. Then he asked “You
promise?” And I said “I promise,” without having any clue what his
intentions were… When we were coming down the corner of the pier, I
noticed there were a bunch of people
along the edge of the pier just hanging out. It was past midnight. When
we tuned to the corner, I noticed there was a walkway of white paper
bags filled with votive candles in each of them. They were perfectly
lined up leading up to the same bench where we watched the sunset
together back in February. The bench was dressed up beautifully in
white linen with flowers all around it. As we held hands, John thought
it would be fun if we walk the path together. (John is a very
spontaneous guy and he would do something out of the ordinary like
that.) But I repeatedly said “It’s not for us. We shouldn’t walk in
it.” But John kept insisting we should, and kept pulling my hand until
we got to the middle of the path.

Then to my embarrassment I quickly jumped out of the walkway before the
‘owner’ would see us. John quietly asked me several times to ‘come
back’ before he came out to get me and softly said with a smile, “This
is for you.” At that moment, I didn’t want to believe him. So he added
“What’s your favorite flower?” Then he told me to look over at the
bench. There it was, a dozen yellow roses (My Favorite color rose) with
a red rose added perfectly placed on the bench along with a basket of
fruits, wine, and bread. As I started to realize that this might be all
true, John asked me to open the pouch.

that pouch was a little black music box that had directions on which
way to spin this handle. As I started spinning it the ‘wedding song’
played and my mouth just dropped! As I was spinning, the music was
going on, John got on his knees and asked, “Cheryl Ancheta Gambeng,
will you marry me?” With a million thoughts running through my head and
thinking how in the world could this be happening, I managed to say,
“Yes! Yes of course I’ll marry you!” John stood up and gave me a hug
and a kiss. He then gave the 50 random spectators thumbs up. Everyone
whistle, clapped and cheered. Some even took pictures.
A few minutes after everything was settling in, we sat down on the
bench and had a time of prayer and communion, giving the beginning of
our relationship to the Lord, inviting him to be the center of our
lives and journey into/through marriage.

I’m so exited just thinking what the future holds for me and John. I
know God will continue to bless our relationship as John and I both
seek Him together!

From → Music

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