It was one of those precious, poignant moments that will forever be sealed in my memory, listening to this young man pledge his life to this beautiful woman.
Why? Because Jacob Hash is like family to us.
In our lives since the moment of his birth, we have loved him like a nephew. As soon as he and our son, Caleb, were old enough to understand friendship, they became friends...best friends, even.
If I had access to all my old photos, I could literally produce at least a thousand with Jacob in them! The memories of him in our lives are seemingly endless.
Today, the day of his wedding, this picture showed up in my Timehop photos. It was Caleb and Jacob two years ago, running JV's version of the Amazing Race as summer interns. Jacob wasn't dating Becca yet...but soon would!
And now here we are, gathered together with so many dear friends to celebrate he and Becca's wedding!
|Minus our son Tyler, these are the seven friends who grew up together, vacationing each summer with our three families!|
Before the wedding began we snapped a few photos to mark this significant occasion. Oh these dear friends! What joy to share life, ministry and children together with them!
|The three moms of the seven vacation kids!|
And how I rejoiced in seeing friends like Susan, who served on the Poland team for twenty years. She too is an honorary "aunt" to Jacob, and came all the way from California to be here for this day.
There were SO many hellos to say as friends and family gathered! The amount of love in this space and time was nearly overwhelming, and yet you couldn't get enough of it.
As Jacob welcomed all the guests, family and friends, it was again one of those most poignant moments when time stops and you enjoy the sweet occasion as if nothing else in the world is happening.
Watching my dearest friend, Laura, hug her son just before standing at the head of the aisle to wait for his bride was definitely tear-inducing!
Dan, Jacob's dad, led the ceremony, sharing rich words with the couple and leading them through their vows.
Becca's great-uncle...a man who loved his niece so much that during her last two years as a high schooler, took her to breakfast once a week...prayed over them as he has done for many years, with great delight.
And then, they were pronounced husband and wife and Jacob kissed his bride!
The moment in time was over, but never to be forgotten on this perfectly beautiful spring day.
Here's a crazy, wonderful part of Jacob and Becca's story.
This is Dave and our friend, Jerry, Becca's great uncle. These two met 15 years ago at a European Leadership Forum. A friendship began that opened the way for us to visit Jerry and his wife some years later and share about Josiah Venture with a group of people in their living room.
That led to a group of those people deciding to invest two weeks of their summer at an English camp in Poland. And guess who went on that trip? Yes, Becca! She would go to several camps over the next years, as well as serve as a summer intern for two summers, if I'm remembering correctly.
And that's how Jacob and Becca met!
So Dave and Jerry were feeling pretty proud of their part in the love story between those two!
The wedding brought people from all over the world, including these JV Poland teammates, many of whom were there when Jacob was just a little guy! It's been years and years since they've all been together in one place. What an incredibly gifted, wonderful group of people they are!
As I said earlier, Jacob and our Caleb have been best friends for their entire lives, so it was with great joy that Caleb accepted Jacob's request to be his best man. And so it was Caleb who gave the best man's speech and toast to the new bride and groom!
Again...another poignant moment of great joy to see that friendship having endured.
Fun fact: at Dan Hash's wedding to Laura twenty five years ago, Dave was his best man! Even more poignant that Caleb served Jacob in that same way today.
The wedding also brought many JV Kids that Jacob grew up with.
The two in front, Blake and Andrew, along with the girls around the table, were all part of each other's growing up years in Central and Eastern Europe.
I'm so thankful that Amy managed to get all of them together in one picture!
All too soon the incredibly special evening was nearly finished, as Jacob and Becca made their way to say their goodbyes.
I happened to be right by the door while everyone else lined the sidewalk to cheer for them. It's one of my sweetest memories of the evening...watching them in that moment, alone, husband and wife, ready to begin their lifetime together.
As they walked through the streamers and glow sticks, being cheered for and loved on by all those friends and family, I couldn't help but think about the life that is ahead of them that looks a little bit like this...
A great cloud of witnesses...both present and those who have gone before...people who stand in love, strength, encouragement and joy at cheering on two who have been joined together for God's Kingdom purposes. Jacob and Becca are embarking on a whole lifetime together to love each other and love God...and serve him out of that love.
I can hardly wait to see what will happen because God has joined these two together!
And off they go, into the life God has planned for them!!