Cindy and Mark

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How We Met

The greatest things in life always come after everything else has fallen apart. That’s true to our story. We were both going through some of the most difficult parts of our life when we met, I had prayed for a friend for months during the loneliest part of my time in law school –Mark was happy to lend a listening ear and his friendship. In 2015, our friendship grew mostly by messages and phone calls. I suspected Mark had a crush on me, but I was not ready for a new relationship. Little did I know at that time this was the relationship that mattered.

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Mark and I have a lot in common. We were both immigrant children, he is from Kyrgyzstan and I am from El Salvador. Both our lands have war histories that impacted our families. The U.S our safe heaven. Our countries are far away, we both grew up in the United States but in opposite ends of this country– He in Portland, OR and I in Evansville, IN– and yet we met. God does work in mysterious ways. Then in March 2016, I met him for dinner on a rainy day–he was holding an umbrella, looking lovingly at me with his sweet, dark green eyes and my heart raced. I touched his arm, and I blushed. I thought the entire city would hear my heart beat. After months of trying to hint that he was falling for me, he asked me to be his girlfriend. I couldn’t deny our connection any longer, he was the one.

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From then on, we were inseparable. Although we lived thousands of miles apart, the distance made our love stronger, time made our love fonder, and the times we traveled these thousands of miles to see each other made us cherish every second. We grew closer to our faith in God and Jesus Christ; I had never met a man who loved like Jesus loved, who cared for others like He did, or who prayed for me.

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how they asked

Fast forward multiple obstacles, that only God helped us through– Mark visited me in Washington D.C. where I am working for the summer, to spend the Fourth of July with me. I was just excited to see him again. So I got ready for a date out on the town to watch the fireworks. We took a nice Uber car– which I thought was taking us to a nice restaurant– but instead I found myself being lead by Mark’s hand into a beautiful (yet crowed) park at sunset.

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As we walked for a while, passing the hills where everyone was waiting for the fireworks, I thought he was lost and didn’t know where the restaurant was located. We were the only dressed up in the vicinity as everyone else sported their jeans. I’m fairly impatient and I thought we would miss our reservation– so I started to let him know how I felt. He asked me to give him a second and that is when I noticed him texting someone nonstop. I tried to relax, and admired the beautiful flowers and roses of the garden. He knows how much I love flowers. As I walked behind Mark, I saw a man with a large camera and equipment coming out from one of the stone arches in the garden. Mark greeted him as if they knew each other.

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That’s when I knew what was happening, and I didn’t know what to do! Mark gently spun me around, got one one knee–and I blacked out. He was talking, and I could hear the sweetest words–but I couldn’t understand them. All I knew was that the man of my life was asking me to marry him, and I couldn’t stop crying. I started to say yes before he stopped talking. A large crowd who were waiting for the fireworks to begin had gathered to clap and cheer for us. He got up, and almost forgot to put the ring in my finger. It was perfect!

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The man of my prayers asked me to marry him, in Washington D.C., in a beautiful cathedral garden, and then took me to a lavish restaurant to watch the fireworks on a rooftop–far enough that the fireworks wouldn’t scare me, because he knows me so well…He had thought of every detail, and couldn’t ask for anything more.

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Special Thanks

 | Photographer