Three decades ago in a country far far away, a boy was born who grew up to sell spiders to feed children, and then went on to run ultra marathons and pastor a church, all while running Internet Café and Photography businesses. God called him to go to Bible college in a land far far away, America. Meanwhile, a girl was born in the America, whom God delivered through many obstacles early in life. She grew up to be a Pediatrician. God brought them together through one church, in a small town, through his family, and missions. They met and liked each other, but it was a year before their friendship began to take form. That is how their story begins…
Alicia was called to go to Medical school in Kirksville, MO. She connected with an amazing church and church family there, Life Church. Life Church was connected with a family in the Philippines, the Pino's, and have been joined to them and working along side them for many years. Alicia was exposed to the Pino family as they would travel and visit Life Church about once per year, and then at the end of medical school, she was presented with an opportunity to go to the Philippines for a Mission trip. Alicia loves missions and foreign travel, and was eager to take this opportunity.
The Pino family visit Kirksville 1-2 months before the planned trip to the Philippines. This was the first time Alicia was able to spend time with them. They shared a meal and became acquainted, and God seemed to join them very deeply in that one afternoon. It was then that Noemi, Jonrey's mother, suggested that Alicia and Jonrey should meet. However, they were not able to meet, before Alicia's trip to the Philippines.
Alicia's last day of medical school was a 24 hour shift. She finished the shift at 6AM, and by 10AM was leaving with the group for the Kansas City airport.The group traveled to the Philippines and served one week in helping with a conference for young people, and then the medical team was able to serve and see over 400 people in 2 days, as part of a medical mission along with evangelism. It is neat that the first thing Alicia did as a physician was serve in the Philippines on a mission trip. Through this trip Alicia and Noemi continued to build relationship. Noemi even sensed God speaking that Alicia would live in the Philippines some day. When it was time to leave, Noemi asked Alicia to deliver a package to Jonrey back in Missouri. Alicia agreed to deliver it.
Alicia arrived back to Missouri, jet lagged, but was eager to visit Jonrey and Keen (his cousin), and deliver the package. Alicia sensed Noemi trying to "set up" her and Jonrey, so Alicia wanted to investigate and see if she felt a relationship could ever be possible with him. They met, and Jonrey was very shy. Alicia delivered the package which brought Jonrey great joy. They were able to worship together as Alicia played guitar and Jonrey played his new Kahon (drum box). Alicia hadn't planned to stay the night there, but she wanted to get to know Jonrey better, so she arranged to stay for another day.
The next day was Jonrey's class servanthood project, where they were serving a meal to nursing home residents. It was 1920's themed. Alicia jumped in and helped with the project and serving, and this provided more opportunity for Alicia and Jonrey to talk. They engaged in some great conversation, and Alicia felt that Jonrey was handsome and intelligent. She wondered if anything could come of their meeting. Alicia's graduation party from medical school was right around the corner, so she was sure to invite Keen and Jonrey, and they came.
With Jonrey being so shy, Alicia asked Keen for some help. Alicia asked Keen if Jonrey liked her. Keen reported to Alicia that Jonrey said, "We wouldn't be a good match; it wouldn't work out." Slightly disappointed, Alicia accepted this response and said that since she was moving to Tulsa, OK, it probably wouldn't have worked out anyway. As Alicia moved and started a new life as a Pediatric resident, she let go the thought and possibility of a relationship with Jonrey.
Throughout her first year of residency, she did develop a strong crush on a young man. She had high hopes that this could be "the one". However, it turned out that she and this young man were not in same place and seasons of life, and that it wasn't going to develop into anything. While this crush was coming to a close, Jonrey began reaching out to Alicia and trying to get to know her more. Alicia was initially very confused by this. They had not spoken to each other or been together in person for almost a year. Why was he all of a sudden showing interest in her? The fact that this other crush had not fully resolved at the time, also added to her uncertainty about how to proceed.
Alicia was leery of Jonrey's sudden interest in her, and held things at arm's length for a few months, all while seeking the advice and counsel of her friends and leaders on how to go about things. However, over time she felt God reminding her of the things she always wanted in a husband from a young age: Someone with dark skin, she always thought she might end up in another country, someone who loved children and was called to serve kids and orphans, someone who was a worshiper, and a true man of God." Alicia felt God speaking to her that Jonrey had all these traits that she desired from a young age and to give this a chance.
Alicia began to put down her guard, which opened up communication between her and Jonrey more and more. It was then that Alicia learned the backstory of all Jonrey had been going through over the last year. Alicia was never far from Jonrey's mind and heart. He felt intimidated due to Alicia being white, and a doctor. This was not what Jonrey had intended for his future wife. However, he could not escape his thoughts and feelings about Alicia. Finally, God gave Jonrey a series of dreams regarding Alicia, which ended up being a sign to him, that he should move forward with pursuing her. When Alicia learned of this backstory, her previous concerns and hesitations disipated.
It wasn't long, and Alicia began to discover what a great man Jonrey was. She began to consider if a relationship between them was the right thing to pursue. She and Jonrey decided to fast and pray for a week, and not communicate, to seek God as to whether or not they should pursue courting one another. They would end the fast and meet in Kirksville, MO at a conference, and decide if they wanted to move forward.
The two met in Kirksville, MO, along with some dear friends and mentors, and everyone agreed that they felt God was in this, and that it was good to move forward. It was advised to Jonrey and Alicia that since they are a little older, and have cross cultural backgrounds, that they discuss bigger topics and life issues early, so that way any deal breakers could be found early, and save time and heartache than if they found them later. Being the go-getters that they are, they engaged in several hours of conversation over the next handful of days, and were pleasantly surprised to further discover their seeming compatibility. Advice was sought from a dear friend who was familiar with both American and Filipino culture, which was also helpful to them. As Jonrey and Alicia felt strong "green lights" and compatibility in their conversations, they began to wonder if this relationship would move much faster than they originally intended.
With Alicia being a Pediatric resident in Tulsa, OK, and Jonrey finishing up Bible college in Missouri, they saw each other, on average, one weekend per month throughout their courtship and engagement, sometimes a little more. They continued to seek the advice of friends and mentors, while cultivating their relationship. Things moved quickly, very quickly. It wasn't long before they found themselves engaged. And that is where we find ourselves now.
We will get married in Kirksville, MO on March 3, 2018. We plan to honeymoon for a week in Chicago, IL. Jonrey will pursue an internship with a church, LifeChanger Church, in Claremore, OK, 40 minutes outside Tulsa. Jonrey and Alicia will live in Claremore and Alicia will commute over for work for the remainder of her residency. Alicia has been going to this church and plugging in there, and really feels the joining of God with the church.
After Alicia finishes residency they will move to the Pittsburg/Parsons, KS area where Alicia has already accepted a job as a Pediatrician there. Jonrey plans on pursuing more education, as well as working, serving in the church, and helping Alicia share in duties at home.
Jonrey and Alicia strongly suspect that anytime between 10-20 years, they could be called to serve full time in the Philippines, however, they are open to any way God would lead them, and any location God would call them to. They aim to join together, for the glory of God, and the furthering of His Kingdom.
Laura and Alicia became good friends in Kirksville, MO, as they moved there approximately the same time. Then, when it came time for seasons to change, God happened to move both of them to Tulsa as well. God seems just keep these two friends together. Laura is an amazing baker who now is part owner of a bakery in Tulsa (Little J's), and will not only be the Maid of Honor, but will also be making the wedding cake.
Alicia met Kristin in Kirksville, MO at Life Church. Their friendship began to grow, but then God called Kristin to move to Fresno, CA. But, these two friends would not let distance get in the way of their friendship. Alicia has made several trips to Fresno, both to build relationship with Bread of Life Church, and to enjoy time with Kristin. They try to make a way to spend time together as often as they can, despite the distance.
Alicia and Hannah became friends in their high school years in IL. They met through church, as Hannah began coming to the church Alicia grew up in. They grew close as they enjoyed friendship in high school/college years, and have tried to stay connected despite different locations and seasons of life. Hannah is married to Ian Caveny, a pastor, and they have a 1 year old son named Theodore (Teddy). Hannah and Alicia are known as "besters".
Jonrey met Ty at Heartland Christian College. They became quick confidants as Jonrey shared his early secret feelings and struggles regarding Alicia, with Ty. Ty played a large role as a support and prayer partner for Jonrey throughout his journey. Ty has also graciously played a part as Jonrey's chauffeur to visit Alicia. Ty has quickly fallen in love with the Philippines and their culture as a result of meeting the Pino's. God has definitely joined them together.
Jonrey met Nate several years ago, as a result of his father traveling frequently to the Philippines. As a child, Nate would mail Jonrey letters of encouragement and support to the Philippines. Jonrey views Nate as a brother, and feels at home in the Fajkus home.
Jonrey views Jeruel as his super talented, musically inclined, social butterfly brother. Jeruel was Jonrey's baby brother before JX came along several years later. Jeruel loves to travel, as he has been to the US several times before. Jeruel is also very business savvy, as he runs his own sound and lighting equipment rental business called JFIVE PRO.