The Words of the Rivera Family

Testimony - The Matching Of Pablo Rivera and Mika Onodera

Pablo Rivera
October 9, 2004

This couple was matched their parents.

Mr. and Mrs. David Phelps and Mr. and Mrs. Onodera announce the matching of Pablo Rivera and Mika Onodera.

Pablo is in his second year of STF in Chicago.

Mika is living in India with her family.

In January I had the pleasure of spending some time with Mika. I thought maybe now I could write a testimony about the matching. First of all, I originally asked my mom for a match with oriental descent. I am Jewish, Hispanic, and have a little bit of Black from the Hispanic side. I wanted to mix the race even more. Also, realizing that I am somewhat of a quiet character, I asked my mom to look for a person that was more outgoing so there would be balance in our couple.

From the emails, I could tell something of her personality, but the real chance to get to know her was during my break in STF. She writes long emails and letters so I figured she was somewhat of an extraverted person. I was very glad to have her with me during the break, but I did some good thinking during the time, too.

Soon after she arrived, I found that Mika seemed actually pretty shy. I found myself in the position of being the "sociable" one. I have my natural limitations, of course, so there were a lot of quiet moments. I was a little confused, thinking, "We are going to be a very quiet couple." I questioned, "How is this the balanced match that it was supposed to be?" Of course I was committed, but I still wondered about this.

During this time of questioning, however, I realized something pretty important: this match was from God. It wasnít from me because I only did my portion of responsibility to trust in the choice of my parents. It wasnít only my parents either because they really didnít know about Mika. Mikaís parents really didnít know about me, although apparently her mom felt, judging from what she could learn from my facial features, that it was a good match. The main point was, I felt that this matching came from God. God knew what He was doing. There was something about this matching that I donít know about yet that made it right.

Another challenge, though not really much of one, was our clear differences of taste in music and movies, and maybe other areas that we donít know about yet. I like popular music and a little jazz; she likes classical or orchestral music. I like the action-packed movies and she likes the more meaningful or real-to-life movies. To get over this, however, I remembered one of Rev. McCarthyís sermons. In this sermon, he told about the struggles with his wife over the remote, trying to choose between watching opera or sports (or something else that he wanted to watch). It seemed from his sermon that there wasnít really a struggle; he just knew that there were differences and that love could overcome their differences in interest. Mika and I will surely just have to compromise sometimes. Itís that simple.

As the week went on, the idea settled more and more that maybe we are meant for each other. I just have to discover Godís reasons for putting us together. Also, with each day we got to know each other more and more. She opened up a lot during the five days. I found that, though we have our differences, we are very much alike in some ways. For example, we both love the beauty and wonder of nature. We, also, both have the character of being open and sincere. And most fundamentally, we both share an idealism of the restored Eden. Though we were born two worlds apart and are from very different cultures or environments, though our interests may vary a little, and the quietness of us both seems awkward at times, we are two souls made for each other by God.

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