One year ago, Natalie contacted Stephen Sanders on DT Heart & Soul. This began an exchange that led to a date, followed by the two quickly realizing how deeply in sync they were with each other. By June, they were “dating/not dating” exclusively; the only hang up was that they had never met in person because of COVID-19 travel restrictions. Stephen is from the London (Southside) ICOC, and Natalie from the New York City Church of Christ (Westchester).

The pandemic was their friend at first (Natalie being too go-go-go to slow down otherwise) but eventually it was a real challenge in terms of finding a country that would accept them both in order to meet up. In August, they both flew to Zagreb, Croatia and spent a week there to get to know each other in real time. When they left, it was clear to both of them that they wanted to move forward. Stephen focused more on building a relationship with Natalie’s daughters from a previous marriage. Ultimately, he flew to New York in October to stay. He officially proposed soon thereafter and they had a truly blessed small wedding in December.

Stephen: We were patient with the Lord’s grace and timing, as we enjoyed our virtual time together, learning to communicate and being able to relax into the relationship to truly build a strong relationship.

I was ready to give up on DTHS because it was just after Valentine’s with no real responses from sisters, but I felt the Lord was simply telling me to ‘listen and do…’. My discipling partners, Tom and Sylvie Galligan (also a DTHS marriage) had encouraged me to go onto DTHS. Although I cannot claim that I was a godly spiritual righteous man, I simply listened and did!

I prayed and decided to do the right thing (I felt through the Spirit and prayer). My DTHS account was due to run out, but I decided to renew my subscription. No sooner had I done so, then Natalie contacted me: An example of how the Lord works in our life and relationships! Simply let the Lord do everything, and try to keep on making those good decisions.

Natalie: We are madly in love, well matched and completely aware that it was God who did all of this. We truly rejoice and give thanks for the blessings that he has put upon our relationship and well as many other things he has done. There are so many quirky, fun and miraculous aspects of our journey.

With the World Discipleship Summit in Orlando postponed, we may still not have met, let alone been open to building a relationship, if not for the Lord’s grace and the DTHS format. As it turned out, Stephen is just what my own self and the girls need. We are all adjusting as it is all still new, but doing well.

DTHS Editors : Stephen and Natalie, thank you for sharing your story with all of your brothers and sisters!