A work email
M: I was on my way to live in Sweden. I believed God had called me to go to Europe and bring life, training and encouragement to Christians, and to see God being made famous once again right across the face of Europe. Making an eternal impact on European culture. I had a friend from Sweden who put me on a mailing list for a big church I had heard about in the north of Sweden. This would help me know some of what was happening in the church world of Sweden.
It so happened that my friend put only an email address, which was not enough information for this church to post my mail. So my email address came across the desk of a very handsome, 20 something, blonde haired and blue eyed Swedish guy, whose job was to get my full address. His name was Christer.
C: The absolute first thing that happened was that Marians name and email address came in thru our website. It was there ’cause she wanted the newsletter from Livets Ord. When this happens I always send a polite reply saying that we cannot send the news report to people unless we have their postal address (I later found out that Marians name and email address was submitted by one of her friends from Sweden, not herself).
Pictures on the Internet
Anyhow. Marian replied to the email saying “Hej Hej Christer! I am very excited that you will send me your newsletter, as I am moving to Sweden sometime in 2001. I will be visiting for 2 months in March/April, and really look forward to visiting your church then.” …and then she introduced herself as working with YouthAlive (YA). At the end of her email (her work one) there was a link to the YA website. I was thinking that “this is interesting, I wonder if I can find her on the YA website” My heart was actually beating a bit faster as I clicked the link… once at the site I found something called “The Zoo”.
It was pictures of the staff at YA. One of them was the girl that emailed me, Marian. Cool I thought. She looked really good. I even thought, “what if she would be…” but then thought, Nah. How would that be. My reply to the above email was that we would add her name to our mailing list and that “You are welcome to visit our church when you come to Sweden.” It was a bit trippy that she was gonna come to Sweden, and I thought that I would gladly guide a pretty girl like her thru our church if she came to visit. Who knows what that could lead to… (She has told me she thought I was a bit stiff, but I thought I was trying to keep this at a professional level…)
Christer – Marians new girlfriend?
M: Christer carried out the mission extremely well and somehow managed to make an imprint of interest on the Australian Girl’s mind. I read the name and job title at the bottom of the signature, and thought to myself that this would be an interesting person to get to know, so one day you would have a friend to visit in the church up North. The friendship of someone in that church would be really nice, so I chatted back when sending my full address, thinking I was about to make a new GIRLfriend. How wrong I was.
I received a rather impersonal, yet polite email back from this mysterious Christer, saying thanks, and if I was ever in Uppsala they would be more than happy to meet me for coffee. I of course sent back another polite reply, and asked this new email friend what they actually did for this big church. I also told a little of what I did, trying to some how connect with this potential new friend. In the second email my potential new friend was a lot more friendly, and conversation began to flow easily. Even suggesting that when I came to visit this part of Sweden we could connect for Fika, and that they could show me around Uppsala. This was a promising sign of future friendship.
The last work email
C: After this we had a 5-day break in communications, I had no plans really to continue, but something made me contact Marian again when we had a project/competition at work. The project was to find a good way of illustrating the concept “A new wave of missions”, I thought about waves and somehow my mind led me to think of the pretty Australian girl I was emailing with the week before. Maybe she could help me (besides, I would not mind to stay in touch with her).
I sent her an email asking for warning signs for big waves at Australian beaches. She was willing to help and we continued to send a few emails, introducing ourselves, what we do for a living etc. She told me about her plans to move to Sweden and Malmö. On October 12 Marian emailed me the good news about that there was a special sign for when surf is up. The weird thing is that I cannot find any reply or thank you from me after that email. It looks as if this could have been the point when our relationship could have ended (run out into the sand as we say in Swedish).
After this email there is no emailing between us until December 23 (Sat, 23 Dec 2000 01:19:49), when Marian sends an email to all of her friends in Sweden This did something to me, really. That brings us to the next chapter in this story…