Takashi Kagawa and Karen Alfonso

Takashi Kagawa and Karen Alfonso - Married June 2013

Karen: I had been on and off DT Heart & Soul for several years. I made several friends through the site, but I hadn’t found the right match yet. In June of 2012, one month before the World Discipleship Summit, I received another DTHS email and signed up again.

That same month, two thousand miles away…

Takashi: I had been recently widowed and found myself in the singles ministry. A good friend of mine, Paul Algarin, was married several years ago through DTHS, so I decided to hop on and get to know singles that way. I was initially very skeptical of the matching profile, but I immediately found it very interesting to see all the people on the site. Karen was my second highest match, and the first sister I contacted. My number one match didn’t have a profile picture, so I figured that Karen at least put some effort in, and I sent her a message.

Karen: We briefly messaged back and forth, but I quickly became fearful and stopped responding. “We’re so many miles from each other. How is this going to work?” I was pretty faithless. My best friend urged, “You just don’t know what God’s going to do. You need to put yourself out there, because you never know. You need to meet him.”

I listened to my friend’s advice and sent Takashi a message about meeting at the Summit. We met up twice in San Antonio and began to build a friendship.

Takashi: We started to talk on Skype. One striking thing was that we were pretty vulnerable very quickly. We were pretty honest about who we were. We had nothing to hide, and I had no fear. I didn’t have to pretend to be anybody. Skype was great because I could get a sense of what she was feeling. It was a great way to build a relationship, because there was nothing else we could do!

As we were getting to know each other, I had someone checking me and making sure my mindset about her was right, that I wasn’t being overly emotional. I also made sure I knew who was close to her, and I got to know her friends. I visited her in Calgary over Columbus Day weekend (their Thanksgiving) and asked her to begin dating. I soon realized I was ready to get married! Three weeks after dating, I asked Karen’s best friend for her ring size!

Karen: I, on the other hand, still felt a bit more apprehensive. I was just responding on faith, because I knew I had to start counting the cost. If this was actually going to lead to marriage, more than likely I was going to leave Calgary. He was very consistent, and he really did pursue me. That helped me to feel secure and know that he wasn’t playing around. I wasn’t as sure as he was when we started dating, but I definitely believed that God was doing something. I really needed to act on faith, so that’s why I said yes. And I continued to basically fall in love with him from that point.

Takashi: For winter vacation last year, Karen flew to Hawaii to meet my family. Karen had asked for one present for Christmas: for me to sing for her. I thought, “If I have to sing, I have to sing for a reason.” With my son TK filming, I changed the words to the song “My Beloved,” and proposed.

We were married on June 8, 2013 and live with our son, TK, in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Takashi’s advice about DTHS: I’d encourage people to join, if for nothing else, for self-discovery about who you are. Especially if you’re in a small church, DT Heart & Soul helps you to realize the kingdom is big, and it’s a good way to build friendship. If you have even a slight desire to be married, you should be on it.

Karen’s advice about DTHS: If you are hesitant about joining DT Heart & Soul, you just don’t know what God’s going to do with it. I’ve heard some sisters say, “God’s going to bring a brother here, I just know it,” or “I’m not moving anywhere.” At some point you have to let your pride down and humble out. Faith without deeds is dead. If you’re not willing to act, why should God do something?