Exiles Forum

Lisburn, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland



New Lisburn minister pops the question and recalls '
A divine story of love'

Pastor Nick Serb and his fianc' Michele Darragh.

Pastor Nick Serb and his fianc' Michele Darragh.

Nick Serb, the recently inducted minister of Mount Zion Free Methodist Church got engaged to Michele Darragh on Newcastle beach a few weeks ago. Nick, who is delighted at the news, recalls what he has described as 'A divine story of love':

It has been said that love is blind and I know that everyone has a story of love but mine is a little bit different because it defies all the rules of the modern world and brings me back to the time when God had a say in our love life. Just a few years ago I was telling my parents about my decision to marry a Romanian as that is the country I was born in and spent most of my life. It seems that God had a very different plan for my life as now I am here in Northern Ireland and even more, about to marry a very beautiful lady from Bangor.

Let's start with the beginning. Spending two years in Belfast Bible College made me fell in love with Northern Ireland and somehow in my heart there was a real conviction that someday I will be back. After college I spent 5 years teaching in Romania but now and again I would come and visit my friends in Northern Ireland and my younger sister who had married and Irish man herself.

There is one thing I have to say and that is that Romanians are by culture very romantic so like any other Romanian young man I had my dreams about having a family and meeting the right woman. Being a Christian and a servant of God I always knew she has to be the right one.

They say dreams are just dreams and after several disappointments I totally agreed with that not even knowing that God was about to show me how great He is in the things He had planned for my life.

In May 2006 God really began to work in my life, putting a lot of things in order. I felt at that moment that God is just making me ready for something great. I didn't know exactly what that was, even more, I didn't know that on the other side of the world, at the exact same time, God had begun to work in the life of somebody else, a beautiful woman from Bangor.

In August 2006 I came to spend my holiday in Northern Ireland with my best friend from Bangor, Stephen Downey and his family. It was a great time when God made it even more convincing that Northern Ireland is the place where God wants me. I didn't know when or how, I only felt it was going to happen.

On the last Sunday of my stay I was invited to take both services in Towerview Free Methodist Church in Bangor. It was a church I knew since I was in college and I also knew there are no young people of my age in that church.

Just before I got up to preach I looked back to see familiar faces in the congregation and as I was looking over my shoulder I saw her. I felt so strange because the first thing that came into my mind was: she is your wife! It was a face I've never seen in my whole life and immediately I fell in love with her amazing smile. During my sermon I struggled to reason with myself: 'Don't look at her! You're preaching now! What if she's married or even committed' Flirting is a sin!'

I finally got to the end of my sermon and at the door while I was greeting everyone and rejoicing with old friends someone came up to me and said, 'We have a young girl in our church, she's very beautiful, her name is Michele!'

It's all I knew, it was all I needed to know. I went to meet her at the front of the church. She was talking to someone else but I cut in, maybe because I was too nervous. I was only able to introduce myself because she ran away. I didn't know that she was thinking the same things while I was preaching. 'Is he married' - Could I learn Romanian? - Could I be a pastor's wife?

There were several other people in the congregation who came to me afterwards and told me that strangely enough all they could think of was Michele and I together - 'A divine story of love'. I laughed about all these, thinking it's like those nice things that never happen to me. I was going home the following week with no prospect to see her again or even give her my email address. Arriving home all I could thing of was her beautiful smile. I was trying hard to get on with my own life when the shock came just a few days later. My former Sunday school teacher, a very godly woman, came to me and said: 'Nick, I don't really believe in those things but last night I had a dream about you and your wife. I remember her face very clearly' ' and she began to describe her. As she was describing the lady in the dream I was left mute because I knew someone who would match that description very well. I didn't say anything maybe out of skepticism. They never met before, how did she know' I began to panic even more when after a few days I received an email letting me know that a certain Michele Daragh has added me to her messenger list. It was impossible to be the Michele I knew.

I wrote to my best friend Stephen and I asked him if her surname was Daragh. He didn't know but he said it would be impossible as she didn't have my email address. Well, out of curiosity I wrote back to that particular email address and said that it was nice of her to add me to her messenger list, that it was good to have friends but there is a problem of not knowing her and the only Michele I knew was in Northern Ireland and in fact I met her very briefly. I thought the chances of it being her were very little, but in my heart I was praying it would be her.

But, it was her! - she told me that one Sunday night she was thinking of me and she tried to guess my email address not knowing that it will appear on the other end of the world. Well, let's just say it was a good guess. We spent a few weeks after that, praying and fasting, asking God the permission for this relationship. We both wanted to be a godly relationship. At that time the prospect of being together was very dim as I didn't know exactly what God had in mind for me and my future ministry.

The rest is history. God brought me here through a miracle. He took away the job I had in the army and any prospect of staying in Romania. He entrusted me with a very godly church and He has given me a special task to bring the message of revival to the people of Lisburn.

It was a matter of time until I was really sure Michele is the woman that God has chosen for me to share His blessings with. We are very much in love because we know it's a divine love.

On Saturday 24th March, I took Michele for a nice walk on the beach of Newcastle. We were sharing God's providence in bringing us together when I kneeled down and asked her to be my wife. I was in shock for three days because she said, 'YES'. We both know that life is not going to be easy. Many times we discussed our future serving God with all our lives and yes we are ready for what God is about to do in Lisburn. Together we learn to discover God as a couple and from next December as a family. It's all very exciting!


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