Accepting the Challenge
The more I wrote, the more I realized how happily those single women replied.

I didn’t know what awaited me as I signed up on the singles directory. I had to write to unknown people—people I had never spoken to before or met. What do I write? How will she react? were common questions I asked myself.

My first attempts for an online date failed in the scheduling. There were seemingly too many problems: The time difference alone was great (I live in Germany), but added to that were the different and busy schedules, a bad Internet connection and other technology problems. All of this made it difficult.

Nevertheless, I didn’t want to give up. My first online date was accomplished while I was parked in front of a McDonald’s. I am glad I already knew my date well, because this date would have made a bad first impression. Since the restaurant was crowded, I spent the time in an uncomfortable car. The Internet connection broke down a couple of times; my friend could barely understand me, and I was very tired.

For months, I continued to write to my fellow singles. The more I wrote, the more I realized how happily those single women replied. They were glad to have an opportunity to fellowship with a fellow single and encouraged that someone had finally written them.

Seeing all those joyful responses stirred me to continue. I was afraid at first to e-mail older singles, but their wonderful responses changed my attitude. I learned that it is not so much about finding a spouse as it is about strengthening the body of Christ and developing godly character. As I wrote more and more e-mails, I received more and more beautiful replies filled with gratitude that a single had written. I tried to make my first e-mails joyful, positive and funny. I always included many questions in hopes that the recipient would apply them personally. I received short replies as well as long e-mails in which they shared their thoughts and feelings with me.

When the spring holy days came, I managed to schedule my first online date with a single from the list. I prepared questions beforehand to make sure I would have enough to talk about for one hour. I was afraid she wouldn’t understand my accent or my poor pronunciation, but the date went very well! This single girl and I are now very good friends, and we will both be in the freshman class at Herbert W. Armstrong College this fall!

Many online dates followed after this one, and throughout my experience I have learned how wonderful God’s way of dating is. It is inspiring to think about how God forms His Family with one mind. Whether they live in America, South Africa, Europe or Australia, all have one thing in common: God is working with them! The more widely I dated, the more my thinking stayed on course and the less I would focus on one person. Dating widely turned out to be a lot of fun. I realized how wonderful it is to speak with each other about prophecy, to speak about content on and, to go for a walk and even to make music together.

I found it encouraging that many single women enjoyed our dates, and that many were happy I made my way through the list and even asked for second dates. However, I felt a little sad about the girls who never responded to my e-mails.

I was shocked to realize that most had never had an online date before I asked them. I wonder why. Many of those single women were eager to reply and willingly worked with me to schedule an online date. Whether it was late in the middle of the night or very early in the morning, it didn’t matter: The online date was wonderful, inspiring and motivating. Often I heard that I moved them “to think more deeply,” that “iron sharpened iron,” or simply that they enjoyed it a lot. I know that these dates shaped me to be a more open, creative and joyful person. Most importantly, I learned that the more I tried to get out of my comfort zone, the more blessed I was to receive so many wonderful, well-worded, inspiring, motivating, encouraging, funny and uplifting e-mails.

I can say all efforts paid off, even though it made me very busy. The singles’ challenge for this month is to have at least two dates. I made it my personal goal that every girl will have at least two dates this month—but of course, I can’t do it alone.