Dear Friends,

I have a correction to make to the previous post concerning the first Sunday at Hope Church. I had added a parentheses with June 24 instead of July 24. The first Sunday at Hope Church was July 24, 2016. By this mistake, You may can guess what date I’ve had on the brain… June 24, 2016 was the day that my life was forever changed for the better as I committed my life, love and loyalty to a Godly man, Derek Rich. I am posting on this subject by request of one of our faithful communicators on the website. I haven’t wanted to share all about me here, but I believe it is more about God than me. When I step back and look at what HE has done, It is truly amazing.


God brought our paths together in the early part of 2015 while I was attending Ozark Bible Institute. Yet, it wasn’t until the summer of 2015 that we began to have further interest for each other. Our conversations from the beginning consisted of our burden, insight, and involvement in various aspects of ministry. It was amazing how much of a connection I felt as we shared with each other. I was drawn to Derek’s dedication to the Lord above all. The physical attraction definitely came, but it wasn’t what drew me to him in the first place. I never met an individual that I felt more at ease sharing with.




After my family and I returned from Alaska in early October, we met up with the Rich family at Cheddar’s in Tulsa, OK. We enjoyed their fellowship over the meal. When we got ready to leave the restaurant, Derek and I started talking in the parking lot while our families¬†courtesy talked in order to give us some time. At the end of that conversation, we exchanged numbers with our Dad’s blessing. From that point, we found every possible way to be together, ever seeking to get to know each other more. It wasn’t long and we both knew without a doubt that God was leading us to marriage. I’ve heard it said, “Don’t just find someone you can live with, find someone you can’t live without.” The latter was true in my heart towards Derek.


So, on January 1, 2016, Derek got on one knee and asked me to marry him and I said, “YES!” We enjoyed reading books together and talking through things that would not just prepare us for our wedding day, but for the rest of our lives. Today marks 1 month, 2 weeks, and 4 days that we have been married, and it has been the best time of my life. I have seen more how marriage, between 1 man and 1 woman, is ordained of God for sanctification, companionship, and pleasure. Marriage is truly a gift from God!


I will post more about the wedding this week. Thank you for sharing in our joy!

Blessings, Joanna Rich