We were wrong. Rachel and Japheth met at his church (which is also the home church of our accompanist Hannah,) when Ladies sang for a Mother-Daughter banquet there. Rachel immediately thought he was cute and since Rachel is not exactly shy, she set about trying to get him to talk to her. Japheth however is very shy and on the quieter side and while he was obviously bedazzled by her beauty and charm, he did not offer much on the conversation side of things. Rachel realized she had to try harder.
Now Japheth and his family just so happen to have a farm in PA that their family has owned for several generations. Rachel just so happens to LOVE farming and want to live on a farm. They also happened to raise sheep Rachel's FAVORITE animal. So all of us Ladies took to calling the wooing of Japeth "Operation Baby Lambs." Rachel managed to finagle so that she was one of the girls who got to stay at the Rittenhouses overnight as they were one of the host homes so she could see the baby lambs...and Japheth of course. They joined Ladies for a day in Philly and Japheth slowly began to open up to Rachel's questions and attempts at conversation. Rachel managed to leave the PA with plans for her and her brother to meet up with Japheth and his brothers to go camping in TN later on and they began a penpal friendship for fun.
I've seen the letters and let me tell you they were long and full of stories! They started off as friends, and Japheth started to visit her and next thing you know they were dating! They still continued writing to each other for a while at first because they preferred letters, and then eventually they just stopped. Japheth was finally told about "Operation Baby Lambs" and he loved it! He came to visit Rachel a lot in TN and would always sit in on our Ladies rehearsals and faithfully attend concerts. We were the first to know about their engagement and hear the stories and while not all of us could make it out to PA for the wedding, some of us did! Victoria came to stay with me and was their photographer so I was able to sneak some shots as well!
Their love story is so beautiful and amazing! It's so clear God's hand was in it and I've never seen a happier bride! They are on their honeymoon in Canada now and will be coming back to Lee next week so Rachel can finish her final semester of college. I'm so excited to see what God has in store for them!
|Victoria and I on our way!|
|Sneaking up behind him for his first look.|
|I love this shot!|
|Rachel and I together. Her wedding dress might be one of my favorites ever.|
|Once a lady, always a lady. Brianna, Hannah, Dr. Songer, Rachel, Cynthia, myself and Victoria.|