There is such a thing as true love, which lasts forever
The happy couple, Joseph and Shanae

I want to tell you a story of how I found love in Jamaica. The Bible says, "He who finds a wife, finds a great thing". I can testify that while on a mission trip in the small town of Buff Bay, I found the woman of my dreams.

In the summer of 2018, I accompanied my church on a mission trip to Buff Bay. I went under the guise of the mission, but in reality, I was searching for a wife. I had heard that Jamaican women make the best wives, and I was praying that the Lord would lead me to my Jamaican queen.

After arriving in Buff Bay, I got acquainted with the warm weather and friendly people in the town. I discovered that the local jerk spot in Buff Bay served some of the best chicken I had ever tasted in my life. My church partnered with the local Buff Bay Baptist Church and assisted us in serving the local community. Our church sponsored a vacation Bible school and also distributed hygiene kits to nursing homes in the area. In the middle of my week-long stay in Buff Bay, I saw her!

She was the most beautiful woman I had ever seen. She had beautiful skin and a dazzling figure. She took my breath away. Her name was Shanae Allen, who I discovered was an aspiring nursing student. She served as my guide and interpreter in Buff Bay because there was a slight language barrier. Unfortunately, my patois wasn't very efficient at the time.

The happy couple, Joseph and Shanae .

During my conversations with Shanae, I found her to be articulate, intelligent, and kind. She really cared for others and had a passion to serve those in need. As my week in Jamaica culminated, I wanted to ask for her number, but I was shy and thought that expressing interest towards a woman on a mission trip would be inappropriate. Upon my return to South Carolina, I messaged the Jamaican queen. We engaged in small talk, but I still neglected to express my interest in her. Several months passed before I messaged her again to wish her happy birthday.

The dress she wore for her birthday was galvanising and I found myself enamoured with her beauty. I still neglected to express my interest in the queen at the time, but she held my thoughts captive.

The following year, I was involved in a deadly car wreck that nearly resulted in the loss of my leg. I was discouraged during this time, but my faith in God and thinking about the beautiful queen of Jamaica brought vibrancy to my spirit.

While in the midst of my intense therapy, I decided to message her. I wanted this special woman to be my wife, and I was going to do whatever it took to win her heart. I took a leap of faith and reached out to her via Messenger. Fortunately, she messaged me back. She was still a student fighting the good fight while in the midst of a challenging semester at nursing school. I gave her words of encouragement and continued messaging her daily. Several months later, I returned to the island, bearing a significant limp as a result my accident. But I was determined to see this precious woman of God whom I loved.

I went out on several dates with her, but I hardly realised what was happening. Every time we were together, I felt as if I was on cloud nine. Jamaica was heaven on earth for me because that is the place where I discovered true love. As my week culminated in Jamaica, I asked her to be my girlfriend. She hesitantly said, "Yes". And I understand why. She wanted to ensure that our relationship culminated in marriage and didn't want her heart to be broken. When I left Jamaica, I knew that she was destined to be my wife.

And I was right! We got married in August of 2020. But from the start, there were challenges in our fledgling marriage. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, my wife's visa application for approval was delayed due to the case backlog at the American embassy. Consequently, my wife and I were unable to live together for two-and-a-half years following our marriage. Separation during a brand new marriage was a very painful experience. But my love for my wife and the Lord held our marriage together better than the strongest super glue.

The happy couple, Joseph and Shanae

This past April, my wife got approved for her green card and last week she travelled to South Carolina and surprised me. I had no idea she was going to show up so soon! We praise the Lord for His goodness and faithfulness. My wife has a YouTube channel called "Shanae Olana". On her channel, she seeks to encourage people who are facing difficult situations to trust God in the midst of difficult circumstances.

I want people to know that there is such a thing as true love, which lasts forever.


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