Joris Van Hijfte and Gisèle Robert

Joris and Gisèle - Married April 2022

Joris: In the Fall of 2020, I felt the urge to change many things in my life. I bought a new house, sold my old house and prepared the move. In September, I signed up for DTHS. I wrote my profile meticulously and posted it. I was not sure what God’s plans were for me, but I was open for His plans.

Gisèle: In September 2020, I became an empty nester. I felt that it was time to declutter the home and do some house repairs and minor renovations. I was working earnestly on these tasks not knowing why I was working diligently in accomplishing them. It wasn’t clear to me what God wanted me to do with my home – continue to live in it, host sisters, sell it and move…? If I were to move, then where and why? I prayed and asked God to give me clarity on his plans for me.

In January 2021, I felt moved to sign up on DTHS–something I thought that I would never do again as I was discouraged by my first experience. I decided to enroll but gave little thought to why I was making this effort.

Joris: After a couple months of being on DTHS and having some friendly conversations with sisters, I was wondering if it was going to lead to something. Then I saw Gisèle’s profile she had just posted. I immediately felt compelled to respond, writing a short message asking to connect. We initially exchanged messages once a week. The messages were getting longer so we moved to email exchanges.

Gisèle: I sent Joris an e-card for Valentine’s Day. Joris asked me on a Zoom date for the following Saturday. We continued to meet every Saturday via Zoom. We had a variety of dates from themed questions, making a recipe and eating together, having double dates, and going on virtual walks via WhatsApp.

Joris: In June, I invited Gisèle to our weekend church retreat planned in August. The COVID restrictions allowed her to travel and we met then for the first time. We continued to get to know each other and enjoyed each other’s company. By the end of the trip, I asked Gisèle to be my girlfriend and she accepted.

Gisèle: One month after I returned to Canada, Joris flew out to visit me and meet my family and friends. Three weeks after he returned home, Joris proposed marriage to me over Zoom. Six weeks later, I returned to The Netherlands to meet Joris to plan our wedding and our future, and host an engagement party.

Joris & Gisèle: We married in Canada on April 30, 2022. One month later, Gisèle moved to The Netherlands where we decided to build our lives together. As we are looking back at our year and all the blessings God has showered upon us, we feel very blessed by God.