Saturday, March 9, 2013

My Wife Zsuzsa - Part 1

My wife around the time I met her (age 20).
On October 4, 1999, my wife and I met for the first time. I was standing in a very busy square in downtown Munich, Germany, called Marienplatz, handing out tracts and giving people the Gospel. I handed my wife a tract as she was walking by, and when she had gotten about 20 feet away, she turned around and brought it back to me.

"I'm sorry, I'm not interested in soccer," were the first words she ever said to me. The tract had a picture of a soccer player on the front, so she thought it had something to do with sports.

"It isn't about soccer, it's about the Gospel."

"Gospel? Can you sing them for me?"

"What?" with a laugh.

"The gospel songs! Can you sing them for me?" In German, the word "gospel" only refers to the music style. I then explained to her what I meant by "the gospel" and opened my Bible and went through the whole plan of salvation with her starting with Romans 3:23. When I finished going through the whole thing with her, her response was, "Well, none of this will do me any good if I am late for work." I then asked her for her phone number and email address so that I could do a little "follow-up"! (Anyone who knows me knows that I am not big on "follow-up," but I made an exception for her...)

The next day, Tuesday, I was in the same place at the same time doing the same thing. I had my eye out for her hoping that I would catch her again on her way to work. Sure enough, she came and greeted me with a smile. "How do you like my new boots?" Her new 'boots' were a pair of tennis shoes (English is her 3rd language, although you wouldn't know it by how well she speaks it. Most people don't even realize that she is not from America since she has literally no accent at all anymore). We chatted for about 5 or 10 minutes before she had to head off to work.

On the next day, Wednesday, I was disappointed that we didn't see each other. When I got back to the home of the missionary I was staying with, I decided to pull out that phone number and give her a call. I invited her to come to the Wednesday night church service, which she said she would do. We talked for about 10-15 more minutes, and I was expecting to see her there that night. She never showed up, which was pretty disappointing.

The next morning, Thursday, she came and saw me on her way to work and apologized for not showing up. A friend had called her at the last minute and needed help, so she ended up deciding to skip coming to church (It was probably for the best because that church was pretty lame. As it ended up, her first time in a Baptist church was at my home church in Orangevale, California, which made a much better impression on her than that church would have). Just a few hundred yards away, a man had covered himself and his car in gasoline and was threatening to "blow himself up." This had a caused a major scene in the Marienplatz so we chatted about that and a few other things. This would be the last time I would see her until 9 months later.

On the next day, Friday, on my way to the train station to leave Munich for a distant part of Germany, I kept my eye out for her all the way as I walked through the Marienplatz, but I didn't find her. I never called that phone number again until after we were married.

To be continued...

This is me (age 18) in Marienplatz handing out tracts the exact week that I met my wife.

5 comments:

Arthur Toledo said...

This is a great story. God bless you Pastor Anderson.

Arthur Toledo said...

Awesome story. Keep it coming! God bless.

Kinley Hardin said...

Sometimes an unusual response or result takes an unusual approach or presentation. At least one of your kids should play soccer just to bring the story full circle or for poetic justice.

Rebecca said...

Sorry, but on that photo you look a bit like an emo kid. Zsuza was very brave to marry you.

sanderson1611 said...

Emo didn't even exist back then. haha