Our Favorite Love Story

One day in August 2009, Huibertjan went to live onboard the Next Wave to sail around the Mediterranean, cooking food and telling people about Jesus.  The next month, Joy went to Italy to do a training school with YWAM.  As soon as she got there, the kind people she stayed with told her she was going to live for three months onboard a sailing yacht called the Next Wave.  So just before Christmas, she flew in an airplane to a tiny airport in Spain with the rest of her team.  A Dutch guy named Huibertjan met them at the airport and helped them carry their luggage and find their way to their temporary home on the boat.

Joy thought he was definitely something to write home about, especially after she cooked breakfast with him for a week and discovered he had a delightful early-morning sense of humor.  Meanwhile, he took a second look at Joy when he discovered a rather interesting detail of her life she didn’t share with many people.  God had told her three years earlier that her husband was going to be like a tree: tall, strong, bearing much fruit and with deep roots in the words of God.  Ever since Huibertjan could remember, people had prophesied over him that he was like a tree!

Three happy months later, they looked at each other under the full moon and decided not to date.  There were too many complications, and Joy had her mind set on traveling the world and writing a book.  But oddly enough, their emails became more and more frequent the farther apart they traveled, and they discovered they had a lot in common after all.  Joy went back to Italy for a few weeks, then to North Carolina, then to Honduras.  Huibertjan kept cooking and sailing to cool places like Malta and Sicily and writing Joy all about it.

Finally he came to Honduras for a visit, to meet (part of) the family and make it official: they’re in love!  They had their first date beside Lake Yojoa on a pretty evening in May.  Only a week later, they had to say a sad goodbye at the airport and go back to checking Gmail every day.

In November Joy flew to Holland, where Huibertjan met her and introduced her to his lovely family and fascinating country.  Best of all, he got down on one knee and asked the life-changing question: will you marry me?  She was thrilled to say “yes!”  Just a week later, Huibertjan returned to his crazy life on the Next Wave, but this time Joy got to come along for a weekend in Rome.  Early in the morning, they said a tearful goodbye at the train station.

Joy went back to her students in Honduras while Huibertjan co-led an outreach team to North Africa and France.  Their connection grew, even though the Atlantic Ocean separated them and Skype let them down.  God gave them grace to finish their commitments and finally, three and a half long months were over.  After spending Joy’s last days in Honduras together, they traveled to Guatemala and Mexico to eat some tacos and visit their wonderful friends.

At last, they said their final heart-breaking goodbye at the airport when Huibertjan went to Holland to find a job and a house for them to live in, and Joy went to North Carolina to prepare for the happiest day of their lives (so far).  Huibertjan delivered mail on his bike and eventually discovered a little apartment in the middle of The Hague that would be the perfect place to start their joyful home.  But not before they get married, say goodbye to America, and board their ship bound for England.  The happily ever after just keeps happening!