The first time we met was in a town in Cameroon called Bamenda. I saw Jacky on the stage singing with her friends, together they formed a group called the Nightingales. They were known for their angelic voices and the devotion they have for our beloved Faith. Since I was visiting from a small city called Limbe, to attend an institute session in Bamenda, Jacky and I didn’t have the time to introduce ourselves, besides, we were still teenagers. My first impression about the girl who will eventually be my wife was that, she was beautiful both in and out. I saw in her the spirit of a true friend and one that you can easily trust. After that conference, I hurried back to Limbe. Following my “A Level,” I decided to continue my education at the University of Dschang, while Jacky moved to the capital of Cameroon to study computer sciences at the University of Yaounde. Occasionally we would meet during conferences and institutes, but these encounters were always brief.

I remember once in Cameroon when Jacky was asked to visit the Bahá’í friends in Dschang, for consultation on youth activities. That created an opportunity for us to get to know more about each other. I took advantage of this, and decided to walk her to the bus station, to make sure she got a safe ride back home. Though, for the most part, we shared experiences about the Faith, neither of us knew how or where our conversation would eventually lead us. I had really wished to spend more time with her, but due to our various locations and the distance between us, we only met like once or twice a year. Up to this day, I still have memories of those eventful days as a Bahá’í youth in Limbe, because everything we did served as a foundation for our relationship today.

Again, Jacky and I had another encounter, in which I remember asking her to bring some fried chicken for me from her home. Without hesitation, she promised to come along with some fried chicken. The next day, I asked Jacky, “where is my chicken”? She replied, “I forgot, sorry”. Well, I really didn’t want any chicken; I was just trying to get her attention. The following week, I left for school. She left for school as well, this time to the University of Buea, where she majored in Economics.

A few years after that, I traveled to the USA. Jacky also completed her degree in Buea and graduated with honors. She then got a job with the Standard Chartered Bank in Cameroon and stayed there for about a year before traveling abroad to the Bahá’í World Centre, where she served the Faith for another two years. All this time, I lost touch with her. Life in America was like a dream. I didn’t know what to expect. At this point in time, I am grateful for not only being able to leave a normal life, but also to have found the woman of my life. All this was made possible by friends that are so dear to me, who forever will have a place in our hearts.

One beautiful day during the Fast, after saying my prayers, I decided to ask a friend of mine about Jacky. He gave a very encouraging response and asked if I needed her phone number. I said, “Wait”. I was wondering what I’d tell her; where I’d been. I let a few days go by when, finally, I made up my mine to call her. Though I was a little nervous at first, I was hoping for the best. She and I had short conversations which only increased my curiosity and my desire to make more calls. At some point, like the girl I used to know, she became concerned and was ready to listen to what I had in mind. Slowly, we kept the ball rolling and not long after that, I asked her to permit me to get to know her better. She accepted. I became the happiest man on the planet. When her term of service ended, she traveled down to Africa, where she visited my family to introduce herself. My mum said she is “Young and beautiful” which of course was not surprising to me.

Jacky finally obtained her visa to further her education in the State of Oklahoma. I left Dallas to Oklahoma, to welcome Jacky as she arrived at the Will Rogers airport. That was in July 2004. Since then, we have been able to carry our relationship to a higher level. Together, we informed our parents about our intentions of becoming husband and wife. My family then visited Jacky’s parents; they got together and celebrated the traditional “knock door” (engagement party).

I will conclude by saying, “Life with Jacky has only made me become a better person”. Again, special thanks, for all the support and encouragement from family members and friends. We continue to ask for your prayers as we look forward to a new life as husband and wife. You are most welcome to join us to celebrate our wedding on January 6, 2006

Aaron Ashu Ashu

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