Our Story

About Joe

  • Hometown: Vancouver, BC
  • Parents: KG and Susan Tan
  • Studied at: Simon Fraser University, Computer Science
  • Moved to DC: January 2002 to work for Christianity.com
  • How I spend my 9-5:  web development
  • Interests: guitar, video games, riding my bike, spicy food
  • In my Bloglines: slashdot.org, daringfireball.net, ejohn.org

About Victoria

  • Hometown: Alexandria, VA / Issaquah, WA
  • Parents: Dennis and Lily Chu
  • Studied at: Whitman College, Music Theory
  • Moved to DC: May 2006 to experience the city life
  • How I spend my 9-5: e-resources tech support
  • Interests: piano, digital libraries, paper arts, maps
  • In my Bloglines: elise.com, walkingpaper.org, popgadget.net

How it all started

Joe:

I remember meeting Victoria at the Chinese Community Church in Washington DC on a Sunday. I remember it was on a Sunday morning because I was leading worship, and from the stage, I remembered seeing her walk in and grab a seat because she was a little late. Also, the sanctuary and congregation isn’t really that big, so it was pretty obvious when someone was late.

Another first memory I had of her was on another Sunday at church. I don’t remember if I was leading worship, but I do remember that it was raining pretty heavily. Unlike the drizzly rain in the Vancouver/Seattle region, when it rains in Washington DC it can be almost like a tropical downpour. Long story short, she didn’t have an umbrella with her, and was drenched from head to toe by the time she got to church. So I lent her my umbrella, and we went out for dinner a couple days later :)

Victoria:

I met Joe in May 2006, about a week after I moved from Washington state to Washington, DC, at the Chinese Community Church. Joe immediately caught my attention that Sunday because 1) I thought he was cute, 2) he was 6′ 2″ and I had never seen a Chinese guy that tall in real life, and 3) he was leading worship, and from where I was seated, was blocking the projector screen where the lyrics were displayed.  I remember feeling awkward trying to make out the lyrics behind him, and eventually averting my eyes elsewhere because I didn’t want to feel like I was staring at him!  After service, several people came over to welcome me, and after learning that I had just moved from the Seattle area, pointed out that Joe was from Vancouver, BC.  We subsequently got to know each other better through our Bible study group and serving together on the music ministry team. Our first few “unofficial dates” were near where I grew up, in Old Town Alexandria and Gravelly Point.

It still amazes me the way God brought the two of us together– meeting in DC when both of our families are in the Pacific Northwest!

When he popped the question

Victoria:

On Sunday, August 3rd, 2008, Joe proposed to me at the National Gallery of Art’s Sculpture Garden by sculpture #16 (if you’re interested in details like me).

It started as a typical Sunday after church– we had lunch with friends at Full Kee and spent the afternoon strolling around downtown. Joe suggested we go to the Sculpture Garden (which I did not find suspicious, since it’s one of our “regular” places).

We found a shaded area that was free from tourists and sat on the grass, people-watching, talking, and enjoying each other’s company. After about an hour, I suggested we go back to my place to make dinner. As I was about to get up, Joe said, “Hold on, I have something for you…” and that’s when he gave me the ring and asked me to marry him! I knew he was planning to pop the question soon, but I had no idea that it would happen that day! We celebrated by sharing the good news with our family and enjoying dinner at Straits of Malaya on 18th St.

The ring is from Brilliant Earth, which was especially meaningful to me, because I had expressed to Joe that if he were to give me a ring, that I wanted it to be as socially responsible as possible.

I feel so blessed for all that God has given me here in DC– a good job, a great place to live, a loving church community, wonderful friends, and now Joe. I know that every good gift comes from Him and am excited for what He has in store!

Joe:

I sent a request to Victoria on facebook, and she accepted the relationship status change… and yeah, we also went to the Sculpture Garden before that (see long version above) and I did awkwardly ask for her hand in marriage with said ring :)

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We love because he first loved us. -1 John 4:19