S: Drew and Alyssa
BC: Our Prayer Habakkuk 3:18 "Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation."
FC: Our Story
1: The Lord called Drew to preach the gospel in 2008. He enrolled in the Bible institute at Cleveland Baptist Church to prepare himself to fulfill his calling. The institute was run by Mr. Brown and his wife, who were also the directors in the Sunday School department in which he taught sixth grade. Drew admired and respected the whole Brown family and thought quite fondly of them. In 2009, Drew lost his job. While this was discouraging, it made him available to take part in an annual evangelistic Bible club program that took place in Baltimore, MD the following week. During this week in Baltimore, he noticed Mr. and Mrs. Brown's daughter Alyssa in a special way. As Alyssa gave a public testimony of the Lord's work in her Bible club, her poise, tender spirit, and gentle but confident voice captured Drew's attention. Drew considered the character of Alyssa's family and upbringing, the desire in her heart to serve the Lord, and her bright blue eyes and warm smile. He attempted to summon all of his charm in striking up conversations with her. Alyssa was polite but skeptical of his interest in her. She kept her guard up and gave no hints as to whether the interest was mutual. As the summer of 2009 came to a close, Drew pounced on every opportunity to speak with Alyssa, as they crossed paths at Cleveland Baptist Church on an almost daily basis. Before she returned to West Coast Baptist College for her sophomore year, he was given permission to stay in touch with her. He still didn't know how she felt about him, but he knew how he felt about her.
2: That fall, Drew texted and called Alyssa a handful of times. Alyssa seldom responded promptly, causing him to wonder whether or not his pursuit of her had any hope. After receiving advice from trusted counselors, Drew resolved not to give up just yet. When Alyssa came home for Christmas in December of 2009, the two began to speak more often and became quite comfortable with one another. When Alyssa went back to college in January of 2010, they were in the habit of talking every day. Alyssa was beginning to let her guard down. She had secretly been interested the entire time! Before Alyssa arrived home for the summer of 2010, Drew asked her father for permission to spend time with his daughter that summer. They began to sit together in church and spend most of their free time together. On May 30, 2010, Drew wrote a note in Alyssa’s Bible that read, “You and I together... make it official?” She agreed and they were both very excited. They became huge parts of each other’s lives. While struggling through the loss of his father that summer, Drew’s difficulties were brightened by Alyssa’s joyful personality. They went to Cedar Point, Phantom of the Opera, Crocker Park, an Indians game, the Zoo, Little Italy, played putt-putt, had dinners, coffee, and many relaxing evenings at church and with Alyssa’s easygoing family. Alyssa went back to college in the fall of 2010 for her junior year, but this time, she had a boyfriend back home. They survived the distance with daily phone calls and non-stop text exchanges. Before they knew it, Alyssa was home for Christmas again. Drew told Alyssa he loved her for the first time on Christmas Eve, and Alyssa loved him back!
3: They were inseparable for six weeks, but sadly Alyssa had to go back to college in January of 2011. Drew visited her in California for a week in March, and then began saving money for a ring. He received her father’s blessing and had the ring in hand when she came home in May. On July 15, a few days before Alyssa’s 21st birthday, the pair spent the day enjoying a zip-line tour and a relaxing dinner at Melting Pot. Drew took Alyssa to a beach in Bay Village with a breathtaking 40-foot waterfall. On one knee and with a lovely sunset in the background, he told Alyssa he loved her and asked her to be his wife forever. There was no hesitation in Alyssa’s voice as she accepted this life-changing offer! They spent the next five weeks basking in the glow of each other’s countenance and looking forward to a lifetime of love, companionship, laughter, and the joy that comes with God’s presence and approval. Since then they have focused on planning their wedding, considering God’s specific call upon their lives, and finishing their training as servants of the Lord. They will serve an 18-month internship at Cleveland Baptist Church after their wedding and before they begin deputation. They hope to be on the island of Cyprus by 2015, sharing God’s eternal truths about salvation in Jesus Christ with as many lost souls as they possibly can!
6: Left and below: Bible clubs in Hunt Valley, MD, the place where their relationship began. | Left: The HBI graduation in May, 2010, two weeks before they were officially together.
7: Drew provided the preaching and Alyssa the photography at the 2010 HCS Junior-Senior banquet.
8: Steve and Rachel Harbert's wedding in June, 2010, with some good friends!
9: Drew enjoyed Alyssa's company slightly more than the rhino's company.
10: They enjoyed a bird's eye view of Cleveland from the top of the Terminal tower in July of 2010.
11: This photo was taken minutes before Alyssa was escorted out of the park by security for excessive heckling of the Detroit Tigers players. | Birthday flowers for Alyssa's 20th!
12: They discovered that roller coasters that get you dirty are much more fun than ones that don't!
13: Upper left: When Alyssa beat Drew by nearly 20 strokes in putt-putt, Drew took his anger out on the innocent golf ball.
14: Left: Alyssa, Drew, and a small Asian boy took in a Harlem Globetrotters game in December of 2010. Right: Drew is originally from Mars, and enjoyed an evening of putt-putt with Alyssa and his fellow countrymen.
15: dg | Drew didn't take it easy on Alyssa in air hockey, and Alyssa didn't take it easy on Drew in bowling.
16: Most of their disagreements are settled at the ping pong table.
21: In suburbs of Huntington, WV, all formal photographs are taken on old, abandoned railroad tracks near broken-down pickup trucks.
22: Snow Days at Progressive Field was a wonderful opportunity for them to hone their special talent for drinking hot chocolate while watching people fall on the ice rink.
23: They posed for this photograph after celebrating when Drew found the words "profundity," "bourgeoisie," and "gubernatorial" on the Boggle board.
24: T | As one of the more conservative Bible colleges, West Coast Baptist required a minimum of four chaperones for their date.
26: They experienced the sights and sounds of the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, CA in March, 2011.
27: The highlights of the Harbor Cruise in Long Beach, CA were the seals, the people-watching, eavesdropping, and their ability to not fall into the ocean.
28: Rocky River Park
29: Top:Three-hour rain delay at an Indians game Middle: July 4th fireworks and orchestra Bottom: Apples to apples dominance not pictured
30: Lives forever changed... | hearts forever knit...
31: Drew and Alyssa were engaged to be married on July 15!
33: They are committed to being the faithful, loving husband and wife that God wants them to be!