Long, long ago, in two lands far, far away Maik and Katie both grew up in a nice home, with a nice family, doing the normal things: school, sports, hanging out with friends, watching the Cosby show. Granted, one version of the Cosby show was dubbed in German, but, well, the dances were the same and Rudy still was the cutest one in the family.
[baby pictures to be inserted later]
Growing up in Germany with two older brothers, Maik had the “privilege” of being the youngest in the family. Little did he know that someday, after a banking career, and business education in England, and a seminary education in Texas, that God would move him to Hong Kong and prepare him for Katie, the eldest of three kids, born and raised in Alabama. They actually met in October 2008 in Hong Kong, where Katie’s team teased her about liking the German guy across the table, but they both had other things on their mind… but maybe Katie’s friends saw the obvious: a kind man with a heart for students in Asia who loved God and people well. They definitely had some important things in common!
It was Katie’s third summer in Hong Kong with ELIC’s English camp program (July 2009). She came ultimately to serve with Grace Campus ministries where she had been working the 3 previous years in college ministry at Auburn University after a short-lived nursing career in Birmingham, AL (she loves to help people in case you can’t tell). So, of course she would choose to return to Hong Kong “for good” with high hopes of living in a foreign country and reaching out to students there.
July 2009 was the summer of the big “SWINE FLU” but you will see why that’s a good thing in a minute… Maik had already agreed to join the Grace Campus team and Katie was antsy to move on to Hong Kong so she came early. Maik, being the kind man that he is, was quick to help Katie plan many activities for the 60 American University students who were in a surprise “semi-quarantine” in HK (thanks to H1N1) for 10 days. During these planning sessions Katie and Maik got to be good friends and were able to see how *similar* their life directions seemed to be (and of course that they made a good team). Maik didn’t hesitate to take Katie to a place called “Honeymoon Dessert” to send subliminal messages to himself and Katie. Of course a few of the University students who were a part of the program were asking questions about whether there was a romance, to which Maik and Katie, the mature adults that they are replied, “We’re just friends.” But that didn’t last long…
While the rest of our Grace Campus team was jet lagging and getting used to Hong Kong, we were out exploring the city and having a good ol’ time growing in our friendship. By the end of August (the 22nd, Katie’s birthday to be exact) the relationship was “official”
and it has been an interesting journey ever since. There was the blessing of riding the waves of team building, ministry pioneering, and culture meshing. By the grace of God, there has been understanding, healing, and joy sharing through ups and downs of a year and a half together. No wonder Maik proposed and couldn’t bear to spend any longer without making this deal permanent!