It all began the week before I left for Haiti on a one-week mission trip. I went with a team from the church my boyfriend, Michael, is the worship leader at, Covenant United Methodist Church in The Woodlands. My friend asked me, “Do you think he will propose in Haiti?” I said, “No, there is no way anyone would bring a diamond to Haiti on a mission trip. He’d be crazy!” She agreed, and the conversation moved on.
The week in Haiti was wonderful! It was my fourth trip and Michael’s eighth trip, but only our second trip together. Haiti is such a special place and each trip I leave with more passion, more drive, and more of a desire to return very soon. The week was filled with Vacation Bible School for the children and building new pews that transformed into desks for the church, which was also a school. Our other project was to create a safe place for the kids to play in the backyard of the church, while also laying dirt to correct the elevation to better drain the area when it rains. I worked mostly on the backyard and Michael worked mostly on building the pews/desks- so we did not spend much one-on-one time together. It was a week of VBS, working on the projects, and just being a part of the team.
On the last night of our trip, we drove two hours (halfway to the airport) and stayed at a beautiful hotel on the beach. We arrived pretty late in the evening, which allowed for only about one hour of ocean time before our designated time for dinner. As we walked through the lobby on our way down to the beach, I saw a sign advertising boat rides, and I mentioned to Michael that a boat ride sounded fun. We swam for a bit, and then he said, “Hey there’s a boat, we should go for a ride!” I thought it was a sweet suggestion since I had mentioned it earlier (little did I know it was already a part of his plan). We went on a beautiful boat ride down the coast of Haiti. The sun was beginning to set and as my gaze switched between the mountains and the ocean, I sat there simply amazed at the majesty and greatness of God! As our ride was coming to an end, we headed toward a dock and that is when I knew! The dock was decorated so beautifully with rose petals and luminaries and candles. A blanket was laid with his guitar and a bottle of champagne with two glasses sitting next to it. It was absolutely breath-taking! Quite literally- As soon as I saw it I kept repeating, “Oh my gosh! I can’t breathe. Oh my gosh! I can’t breathe.” We sat down on the blanket, Michael picked up his guitar, and he began to play a song he wrote for me. It is the most genuine, heart-felt song expressing how he “loves me all the way” (something we had started saying to each other a few months prior) and how he wants to spend the rest of his life with me. After he finished singing his beautiful song, he reached into his guitar case, kneeled down on one knee, and wooed me with the sweetest words as he opened the ring box. My eyes widened as they filled with tears and my hand flew to cover my mouth in excitement and disbelief that it was THE ring! The ring from Shannon’s- the most beautiful ring I had ever seen! He asked me if I would make him the happiest man in the world and marry him! I said “YES, YES OF COURSE!” as I nearly tackled him off the dock with the biggest hug. The rest of our team emerged from their hiding places on the beach and let out a roar of claps and joyful cheers. My fiancé and I spent the next hour together on the dock, enjoying the sunset, a glass of champagne, and most of all each other.
It was the most magical moment of my life!— From the beautiful beach in Haiti, to the song he wrote, the romantic dock setting, the most perfect ring, and most importantly getting to spend the rest of my life with my favorite person.
-Allison Uszler and Michael Rafferty