Pastor Nick Serb and his fianc' Michele Darragh.
Nick Serb, the recently inducted minister of Mount Zion Free
Methodist Church got engaged to Michele Darragh on Newcastle
beach a few weeks ago. Nick, who is delighted at the news,
recalls what he has described as 'A divine story of love':
It has been said that love is blind and I know that everyone has
a story of love but mine is a little bit different because it
defies all the rules of the modern world and brings me back to
the time when God had a say in our love life. Just a few years
ago I was telling my parents about my decision to marry a
Romanian as that is the country I was born in and spent most of
my life. It seems that God had a very different plan for my life
as now I am here in Northern Ireland and even more, about to
marry a very beautiful lady from Bangor.
Let's start with the beginning. Spending two years in Belfast
Bible College made me fell in love with Northern Ireland and
somehow in my heart there was a real conviction that someday I
will be back. After college I spent 5 years teaching in Romania
but now and again I would come and visit my friends in Northern
Ireland and my younger sister who had married and Irish man
There is one thing I have to say and that is that Romanians are
by culture very romantic so like any other Romanian young man I
had my dreams about having a family and meeting the right woman.
Being a Christian and a servant of God I always knew she has to
be the right one.
They say dreams are just dreams and after several
disappointments I totally agreed with that not even knowing that
God was about to show me how great He is in the things He had
planned for my life.
In May 2006 God really began to work in my life, putting a lot
of things in order. I felt at that moment that God is just
making me ready for something great. I didn't know exactly what
that was, even more, I didn't know that on the other side of the
world, at the exact same time, God had begun to work in the life
of somebody else, a beautiful woman from Bangor.
In August 2006 I came to spend my holiday in Northern Ireland
with my best friend from Bangor, Stephen Downey and his family.
It was a great time when God made it even more convincing that
Northern Ireland is the place where God wants me. I didn't know
when or how, I only felt it was going to happen.
On the last Sunday of my stay I was invited to take both
services in Towerview Free Methodist Church in Bangor. It was a
church I knew since I was in college and I also knew there are
no young people of my age in that church.
Just before I got up to preach I looked back to see familiar
faces in the congregation and as I was looking over my shoulder
I saw her. I felt so strange because the first thing that came
into my mind was: she is your wife! It was a face I've never
seen in my whole life and immediately I fell in love with her
amazing smile. During my sermon I struggled to reason with
myself: 'Don't look at her! You're preaching now! What if she's
married or even committed' Flirting is a sin!'
I finally got to the end of my sermon and at the door while I
was greeting everyone and rejoicing with old friends someone
came up to me and said, 'We have a young girl in our church,
she's very beautiful, her name is Michele!'
It's all I knew, it was all I needed to know. I went to meet her
at the front of the church. She was talking to someone else but
I cut in, maybe because I was too nervous. I was only able to
introduce myself because she ran away. I didn't know that she
was thinking the same things while I was preaching. 'Is he
married' - Could I learn Romanian? - Could I be a pastor's wife?
There were several other people in the congregation who came to
me afterwards and told me that strangely enough all they could
think of was Michele and I together - 'A divine story of love'.
I laughed about all these, thinking it's like those nice things
that never happen to me. I was going home the following week
with no prospect to see her again or even give her my email
address. Arriving home all I could thing of was her beautiful
smile. I was trying hard to get on with my own life when the
shock came just a few days later. My former Sunday school
teacher, a very godly woman, came to me and said: 'Nick, I don't
really believe in those things but last night I had a dream
about you and your wife. I remember her face very clearly' ' and
she began to describe her. As she was describing the lady in the
dream I was left mute because I knew someone who would match
that description very well. I didn't say anything maybe out of
skepticism. They never met before, how did she know' I began to
panic even more when after a few days I received an email
letting me know that a certain Michele Daragh has added me to
her messenger list. It was impossible to be the Michele I knew.
I wrote to my best friend Stephen and I asked him if her surname
was Daragh. He didn't know but he said it would be impossible as
she didn't have my email address. Well, out of curiosity I wrote
back to that particular email address and said that it was nice
of her to add me to her messenger list, that it was good to have
friends but there is a problem of not knowing her and the only
Michele I knew was in Northern Ireland and in fact I met her
very briefly. I thought the chances of it being her were very
little, but in my heart I was praying it would be her.
But, it was her! - she told me that one Sunday night she was
thinking of me and she tried to guess my email address not
knowing that it will appear on the other end of the world. Well,
let's just say it was a good guess. We spent a few weeks after
that, praying and fasting, asking God the permission for this
relationship. We both wanted to be a godly relationship. At that
time the prospect of being together was very dim as I didn't
know exactly what God had in mind for me and my future ministry.
The rest is history. God brought me here through a miracle. He
took away the job I had in the army and any prospect of staying
in Romania. He entrusted me with a very godly church and He has
given me a special task to bring the message of revival to the
people of Lisburn.
It was a matter of time until I was really sure Michele is the
woman that God has chosen for me to share His blessings with. We
are very much in love because we know it's a divine love.
On Saturday 24th March, I took Michele for a nice walk on the
beach of Newcastle. We were sharing God's providence in bringing
us together when I kneeled down and asked her to be my wife. I
was in shock for three days because she said, 'YES'. We both
know that life is not going to be easy. Many times we discussed
our future serving God with all our lives and yes we are ready
for what God is about to do in Lisburn. Together we learn to
discover God as a couple and from next December as a family.
It's all very exciting!
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