I have an introduction to make. I’ve written about my fiancé Kori in my last update and many of you met her when we were in Minnesota over Christmas. But, I don’t think I’ve really outlined for you what our plans are. Here’s a synopsis of our story (my version at least) and plans:
I moved to Czech in 2006 as a single man in his early 30s. I made the decision to follow Christ here knowing that it would significantly reduce my chances of finding a wife. Not a lot of women want to live the life of a missionary. Ministry here has been rich and exciting. My job is to disciple teenagers and train Czech youth pastors. That’s about as cool as it gets in my book. But giving up your native culture and language and taking on another one gets lonely. I wanted to do this with someone. So I prayed that God would give me a wife, someone to pursue this calling with.
Last summer Kori Smith, an old flame of mine, showed up with the American team at my church’s English camp. I’ve gone out with a few girls over the years since I moved to Czech. Each of them were awesome women (I happen to think that I have a talent for picking out great woman). But, there was always the lingering thought that they weren’t Kori. Now, Kori had already made it quite clear that she had no intentions of dating me. But things started happening at camp. We found ourselves with plenty of opportunities to talk. I watched her hanging out with the students. She noticed how the kids loved hanging out with me. I kept thinking “if only…”
After camp was over we ended up having a day to hang out together. We were driving back from Prague to Tábor with the plan to spend the day visiting castles. Nothing was said of this being a date though. On the drive to Tábor I noticed a sunflower field. I new she liked sunflowers so I seized the opportunity and pulled over. As we wandered through the field she got this funny look in her eyes. Kori asked me if I was over her. My first thought was, “man, she’s dumping me again.” But she didn’t look like she wanted to do that. I answered “I was” purposely in the past tense. “So, do I have a chance with you?” I asked. Her answer was “yeah, a lot.”
Since then I’ve asked Kori to marry me. We’re getting married on June 3rd in Fairbanks, Alaska where she is from. We’ll live there for a year while we get used to being married to each other and raise support for the ministry here in Czech. Kori really is the woman I have been praying for. She is a true life partner, someone I want to serve and worship Christ with. She is the person I want to build a home with, a home that is a safe place for teenagers. When I proposed to her I read to Kori Psalm 34:3. “Glorify the Lord with me, let us exult His name together.” She is the one I want to glorify Jesus with.
I will move to Fairbanks from Czech on May 8th. I will officially be on home assignment as a fulltime employee of Josiah Venture. We will spend this next year developing our marriage, going through new missionary training, and raising the necessary funds to move back to Czech as a couple. If you’re not already a part of our support team and would like to be click this link: Support Greg and Kori in Czech. We’ll be spending a couple months in Minnesota this fall and the rest of the year in Fairbanks.