Abuela and Abuelo: Love Story...65 years strong
Richard (Dick) and Nancy
Boy Meets Girl:
Dick was a 3rd year student at Providence Bible Institute in Rhode Island. He was handsome and chased by the girls. He had been dating one pushy girl in particular. Nancy was the daughter of the Dean of Women of the college and a senior at Classical High School in Providence. She and her mother lived on campus and she was considered by the students as a “faculty brat”, but not because of bad behavior, just because that's what they were called. Nancy and Dick had seen each other around campus but never spoke nor knew each other personally.
Summer came around and normally Dick would spend that time traveling with a college men's quartet he was in, on a singing tour of churches. But this particular summer he needed to work, so he stayed behind and worked in the office of the college. Nancy had just graduated from HS and got a summer job as an elevator attendant. By this time he had dumped Miss Pushy.
There was a group of PBI students who during the school year had started a Sunday School ministry in a small town called Harmony, about an hour away. They called themselves the “No Talent Kids” because they weren't singers nor musicians. It seemed a shame to abandon this work over the summer so they asked Dick and his best friend Ken Anderson if they would continue it while they were away. They agreed, but they needed someone with a car to take them. So as God does things, He gave them the idea to ask Nancy's Mom (who had a car) if she would like to take them down there each Sunday. And that's how Dick and Nancy met. They spent every Sunday together that entire summer, ministering to the children and parents in this small town. Nancy would play the piano and organ and teach the children, Dick and Ken would teach Bible to the parents. It was the summer of LOVE because Dick and Nancy were never the same. They were providentially attached and so began a long-distance love affair that would last 4 years!
Dick asked Nancy to go out for ice cream. She had just started her job on the elevator of a tall building and was not yet used to it. It took her a week to get over feeling dizzy and nauseaus at the end of her shift. During their “date” eating ice cream, she became sick and threw up on Dick's car and shoes! I guess thankfully he didn't get scared away or none of us would be here!
It was Dick's senior year at PBI. Nancy had decided to attend Houghton College as a freshman because she wanted to experience something new. Nancy and Dick spent that whole year writing letters, pretty much one per day. To this day they still have some of those letters.
Meanwhile, a man came to PBI looking for someone to help pastor a fledgling church called Falmouth Baptist Church at Cape Cod (which met in a borrowed courtroom), as well as lead a youth group. The first face he saw was Dick's, who quickly volunteered. And so began several years of Dick traveling to the Cape every weekend.
After her freshman year, Nancy decided to switch schools to PBI and move back to Providence. By this time, Dick had graduated with his bachelor's degree and was off to Gordon Seminary in Boston for 3 more years, 167 miles away. Thus, lots more letter writing. Most weekends, while on his way to the Cape, Dick would stop and see Nancy for an hour. Sometimes they played tennis, sometimes they went to a beach to enjoy the view and just talk. A few times, he took her with him to the Cape.
They had been dating now for 3 years. On one of those opportunities to stop and visit on his way to the Cape, Dick asked Nancy to go for a walk with him around the college campus. He was nervous about what he was planning to do. No dropping to one knee, he simply told her that he asked her to go for a walk because he wanted to tell her that he loved her and wanted her to marry him, and that he didn't want to just say the words but would show her that he really meant it......by giving her the first kiss! According to her she was shocked and surprised. But, he was a broke college student and didn't have an engagement ring, which Nancy accepted, no problem.
Wedding and Honeymoon:
They married on June 3, 1954 on the beautiful college campus. Nancy's wedding ring was her mother's. It was a beautiful affair, a fairytale wedding. Nancy had just graduated from college and Dick was just graduating from Seminary.The morning of the wedding Dick had to take his last final exam! And still be dressed and on time to marry his bride at 11 am. They honeymooned for a week in a motel in New Hampshire. The 2nd week of their honeymoon they spent at a missionary orientation meeting for new recruits to Latin America Mission. They were like-minded in their love for God, His Word and making disciples, and had already decided before marrying that when they both graduated they would become missionaries to Latin America. And the foreign mission adventure began.....
Now, 65 years, 4 children, multiple foster kids, 8 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren later, as well as having lived in 6 countries, they are ready to make their vows all over again with all of us!