As DT Heart & Soul moves toward our first-ever mobile app this summer, we are greatly inspired to see our God continuing to pursue his dream of bringing the nations together. So far, we know of 94 couples married through DTHS (and 20 children from those families!), representing 101 churches and 27 countries. Since DT Heart & Soul has begun, verified members have come from 409 churches in 102 countries.
We keep hearing amazing stories of God’s work through this humble website. In 2013, Nicole Hadsell was living in San Jose, California when she began studying the Bible. Shannon Duncan was a part of Nicole’s studies, and they became close friends. Nicole was baptized on Cinco De Mayo.
In early 2016, Nicole put together a “40 before 40” list. Nicole’s singles leader looked at her list and suggested she add dating to it – 40 dates before turning 40 – and get back onto DT Heart & Soul. Nicole was initially resistant; she had already been on DT Heart & Soul for a year, following the 2014 Singles Conference in Denver (not to mention that 40 dates would mean two-to-three dates every month for over a year!). But she overcame her doubts and signed up again.
Shannon took a look at Nicole’s DTHS profile, and decided that she would also rejoin. This time around, Shannon met Daniel Elliot, and they began building a relationship. After a little while, Daniel came to San Jose to meet Shannon in person, and met Nicole as well.
As Nicole’s second time on DT Heart & Soul neared its end, she prayed, “God, I’m going to reach out to the top few brothers, read their profiles, and let you lead.” She wrote a handful of letters to a handful of different brothers and left it in God’s hands.
2,500 miles away in Richmond, Virginia, in September 2015, Ryan Boschen was baptized. In early 2017, Ryan’s friend Daniel gave him a one-month subscription to DT Heart & Soul (Daniel had already met a sister on DTHS, and their relationship was progressing well).
Ryan used the one-month subscription – the only time he was on DTHS – and during that month he met Nicole. Nicole was attracted by Ryan’s heart to serve in the children’s ministry. She also noticed that they had interests in common: gardening, food, dachshunds. Both Nicole and Ryan had independently prayed, “Help me find someone who loves God more than they love me, someone who will put God first.”
They had both been previously married, so when they did meet, they took it slow. They talked for a year and dated for another year. Looking back, they credit God for using those difficult circumstances and experiences to bring them to a place of surrender.
While Ryan and Nicole were getting to know each other, Daniel and Shannon were falling in love, and at the same time encouraging Ryan and Nicole in their friendship.
But somehow, Shannon and Nicole didn’t find out that Daniel and Ryan were friends, nor did Daniel and Ryan know that Nicole and Shannon were friends! That situation persisted for nearly a year; it wasn’t until Daniel and Shannon were engaged in June 2017 that the connections finally clicked.
And so as it turned out, Ryan and Nicole first met each other in person at Daniel and Shannon’s wedding in Richmond in September 2017! After the wedding reception, Ryan and Nicole went on a triple date to a local restaurant in Richmond, the Desserterie, which was their first in-person date.
After Shannon married and moved to Richmond, she began praying about having a best friend come to Richmond. Her prayers would soon be answered!
Nicole : When Ryan planned to propose, he had in mind a large party, but God blocked those plans, thankfully; I’m not a large-crowd/large-party person! Around Christmas 2018, Ryan came to visit me, and we went to Palo Alto to have lunch with my boss at Filoli Gardens–a beautiful place. I had no idea he was going to propose. Ryan wanted to go inside the house, but it was closed, so we hung around outside the front of the house. I take a picture of the house and when I turn around, he’s acting real weird, like he’s not feeling well. I say, “Breathe, Ryan!” So he proposed. The ring he proposed with was his great-grandma Lucy’s, and fit perfectly!
Ryan and Nicole Boschen were married May 25, 2019. When asked what is essential to inspire hope for others, both replied: ”surrender.”
Nicole : We have these grandiose ideas of how it should be: Who we should be with, expectations of timing, what we will should have in common, living situation. We can have the best ideas, but it is God who makes things happen. I prayed, “God, give me eyes to see Ryan the way you do.”
Ryan : I had tried different ways of meeting people online, and found God putting a halt to it. As I learned, God will make your paths straight.
Thank you, Ryan and Nicole, for sharing your story with us. And to those who are heading to Orlando in July: Please stop by the DT Heart & Soul booth and say hi!