On one humid Honolulu day in August of 2018, Rachel was perusing her eHarmony listings when she came across an intriguing profile. This sharp-looking Asian man had very similar tastes in music and books, and communicated a genuine love for the Lord. Best of all, he was also from Taiwan! She sent him a “smile” wondering if he would respond back.
If it hadn’t been for Wayne’s recent update to his eHarmony settings, Rachel never would have found him. As a first-generation Taiwanese-Canadian, he was looking for an Asian woman who could relate to his cultural background. But God shifted some things in his heart and he expanded his settings to interact with people of all ethnicities. When he saw the “smile” from Rachel and perused her profile he thought, “eHarmony must be trolling me–this girl can’t be real.” She was a beautiful blonde who loved the Lord, knew conversational Chinese, and lived in Hawai’i. Setting his skepticism aside, he wrote her back and waited expectantly.
A few days later she wrote him back–she was real! They conversed about their love of musicals, the outdoors, favorite worship bands, ethnic and cultural identity, and childhoods spent in Taiwan… there didn’t seem to be a shortage of shared interests. But as Rachel was in a busy season–welcoming a new group of international students, earnestly researching graduate school programs, and still conversing with other guys–she only responded to Wayne once every two weeks. For Wayne, these waits were agonizing, but he persevered nonetheless thinking there might be something special between them.
The two week lapses between messages was finally broken by a Skype call arranged during the Thanksgiving holiday and confirmed there was indeed “something special”. Even after a 3.5 hour conversation, there was still plenty more to talk about, but it was nearly midnight… they ended the call with an intention to keep in touch more closely. Wayne couldn’t sleep that night but grabbed his guitar and started worshipping the Lord. This might be the friend, helper, and partner he’d been praying for all these years!
More frequent phone and Skype conversations led to plans for Wayne to pay a visit to Honolulu to meet Rachel at the end of February 2019. The 6 days they spent together felt like 6 weeks–it was as if they’d always known each other and yet it was entirely new. Wayne got to spend time with Rachel’s community in Hawai’i and felt their aloha and welcome so profoundly. Sitting atop a mountain overlooking Honolulu, Rachel pulled out her ukulele and Wayne strummed the guitar. Worship songs turned into love songs… and as the sun was setting, Wayne smoothly slipped his arm over Rachel’s shoulders. He spoke of his intentions to pursue her friendship, and hopefully her heart. He left the island with a girlfriend–a blonde girlfriend.
In the months that followed, Wayne and Rachel took turns traveling to visit one another, dotting the map with places of significance: Seattle, where Rachel met Wayne’s community; San Francisco, where they met one another’s parents; Vancouver. for Wayne’s cousin’s wedding; and back to Honolulu. Meanwhile, Wayne wanted to support Rachel’s dream of doing a one-year graduate program in Scotland and so they traded a 5hr time-difference for an 8hr time-difference and became professionals at international time-conversion.
Growing a relationship long-distance wasn’t easy, but it taught them to communicate well and pray together often. They also figured out how to watch movies together by pressing “play” on one screen and Facetiming on another screen. But they longed for times spent in the same place. Both were eagerly anticipating Wayne’s March visit to Scotland when he would get to meet her friends and classmates in St. Andrews and take a tour of the Scottish Highlands. But two days before Wayne was going to fly to Edinburgh, they flipped the plan and flew Rachel back to Seattle instead. As the Covid-19 pandemic swiftly shut down borders, Rachel got out of the UK just hours before the US-UK border closed.
Suddenly the whole world was turning upside down and so was Wayne and Rachel’s timeline. She had landed in Seattle six months earlier than expected! While Rachel completed her degree online, she and Wayne adjusted to living in the same city and getting to sit on a couch together to watch movies–what a novelty!
In November 2020, Wayne became overly-fixated on Seattle weather predictions–he was waiting for a lapse in the persistent rains to take Rachel to a beautiful lakeside location and ask her an important question. Creator provided a rare sunny Saturday and Wayne schemed with friends to hide behind the bushes of a lake-side park to capture the historic moment. He took a knee and looking into Rachel’s blue eyes asked, “Rachel Christina Kuhn, will you marry me?”
The answer in her heart seemed to have been planted there since Wayne’s sunset serenade in Honolulu more than a year and a half before–she had seen his tenderness and spiritual leadership. It was confirmed as she saw Wayne’s patience to wait for her to spend a year studying in Scotland first–deferring his own desires to empower her dreams. “Yes, I will marry you!” She exclaimed as she wrapped him into an embrace, laughing as tears of joy streamed down her face.
On April 10, 2021 at 2:00pm Pacific Time, Wayne and Rachel will affirm their commitment to a lifetime of loving one another through the exchanging of vows at a “tiny wedding” in Seattle Though they must keep the venue small due to the pandemic, they are eager to welcome their dear friends and family from around the globe to join them virtually! An invitation and RSVP link is being sent to their invitees. Click here to view their wedding website & registry.