We Met at Ecclesia: Jonathan and Sue

May 4th, 2016 | Community, People
We Met at Ecclesia

Ecclesia is a place where people can form Godly, life-changing relationships. Jonathan and Sue met at Ecclesia. Independently they were asked to write about their relationship. This is their story.

JONATHAN COLUNGA:
Sue and I met while serving on separate weekends on the Parking team. Sue’s cheerful demeanor and friendliness made quite an impression on me. However, I was always constantly on the go, either to work or rehearsal.  I’m more of a hugger, so I’m pretty sure we hugged it out at first meeting.

SUE COLUNGA:
I think we first met when Jonathan was serving on the parking team.  He would greet people with a smile and was great at saying hello to everyone he encountered.  I would see him before or after church services and we would say hello to each other in passing.  But I could never remember his name, even though he had memorized mine. Jonathan still likes to remind me about that.

JONATHAN COLUNGA:
In the short amount of time that we were able to share at first, I was always keen to remember her name. Sue always had a smile on her face. She can make friends with anyone she meets. She had no reason to show me kindness, but she did so anyway. Coupled with a heart for God, and a desire to serve, we both had a solid foundation to build a relationship on.

SUE COLUNGA:
We both served on the parking team, but on different Sundays.  I remember once he went out of his way to walk me from the opposite corner of the parking lot to the church building when it was raining and wet.  He happened to have an umbrella and saw that I was ducking and not happy to be walking in the rain.

JONATHAN COLUNGA:
Our initial meetings were very sporadic. After inviting her to see a show I was in, which she left right after curtain call (a move that I initially took as a rejection), it was a while before I mustered up the courage to truly approach her again with my chivalrous intentions.

SUE COLUNGA:
Jonathan approached me after service one day – while I was alone in reflection in the sanctuary (so it was quite memorable)!  He asked if I would like to have coffee with him.  It was clear from the way he asked that he was asking me out on a date. I found this really refreshing, impressive and flattering.  I had grown so accustomed to the uncertainty and confusion surrounding dating.  Over the following weeks and months he continued to initiate dates.

JONATHAN COLUNGA:
We started out with a coffee date, and then two dinner dates after that. Upon the third date, I asked the question that set the ball in motion: “Are you spoken for?”From there, we were inseparable. Given our mutual love of food, and its various incarnations, we always have opportunity to discuss not only our days, but what our desires and drive are in life.

I see a lot of myself in Sue, which is an unusual statement to make. But through her God allows me to exercise patience, love and grace. She sharpens me and pushes me to be the best version of myself that I can. I also have a better understanding of how Christ loves us.

SUE COLUNGA:
Jonathan is a very humble, peace-loving, honest person – he really took initiative in getting to know me. I have been struck by his willingness to put God and me first in so many big and small ways.  It’s humbling to me.  God uses Jonathan to show me areas where I still need to grow, particularly in the intangible spiritual and character qualities of humility, grace, sacrifice and faith.

The whole process of planning our wedding and learning about and meeting each others families has been eye-opening since both of us come from such different backgrounds and cultures.  Jonathan grew up in Texas, with Mexican-American parents, with a Catholic background.  I am the daughter of Korean immigrants and grew up in the South and Midwest, but spent most of my life on the east coast before moving to California.

JONATHAN COLUNGA:
Our engagement was definitely an adventure and was probably the most learning experience we’ve had thus far. In such a short time we had to draw closer together and listen to what our needs were. We learned how to best serve each other. Those six months taught me some of the biggest lessons of my life to date. God uses not only our similarities, but our differences to shape one another. He uses people to teach us what areas of our life need to be re-examined. Even in the midst of a very young marriage we have each other to walk through our various trials.

SUE COLUNGA:
Being married and planning our life together has helped us appreciate aspects of each others unique cultures.  It has really opened my eyes to the fact that God will often take your idea of who you will marry, or what your life will look like and do something totally different from what you planned or imagined, which is a good thing….at least for me. 🙂

God is using Jonathan to sharpen me and humble me in so many ways.  Jonathan is far more patient, easy-going, humble, willing to sacrifice and loving than almost anyone I have known in my life. It is amazing to see how easily and willingly he loves, cherishes and forgives me; despite my obvious issues and flaws.  I am more aware of the areas where God wants to grow and mature my character and I feel God’s been using Jonathan to help refine and grow in maturity and character.

Want to share the story of how you and your friend met at Ecclesia? Leave a comment below!