Herein lies the answer to the question that we get most often: How did you meet?
First a little backstory from both sides…
A self-proclaimed dateless wonder for the majority of her adult life, S’ambrosia poured her time and energy into getting a degree in secondary education at Kansas State University and going on various short-term mission trips before moving back home to support her father in ministry. Upon returning to her Kansas hometown, she landed a job at Salina Christian Academy and met some of her favorite people in the world. Though she always had a soft spot for adolescents, her teaching experience only stirred up a greater passion for working with young people.
As God would have it, the prophetic destiny of a name like S’ambrosia held more significance than she realized. Sam, which means “God hears” (representing prayer), and Ambrosia, which means an aroma pleasing to the gods (representing worship), became more than just names as the Holy Spirit began to cultivate the heart of an intercessory musicianary in her.
For those of you that knew S’ambrosia from the days of her youth, you may recall her lofty goal of one day moving to Africa, specifically Kenya, to become a missionary. Years and years passed with little sign of that dream becoming reality, until one day James Murunga extended an invitation to travel to Kenya and minister to some youth…
Born and raised in a small town (Bungoma) in Kenya, the eastern part of Africa, Ray grew up to become a people person due to the fact that he had been raised by a Christian family. This went on through high school and college, where he studied information and communication technology. After some time, he landed a job with a leading communication company in Nairobi, Kenya as a customer service representative. It got to a time when he couldn’t stand irate customers, working long hours, and sometimes missing church because of his work, so he left his job to pursue his dream.
As a kid, Ray was involved in church activities like drama, choir, and children’s outreach. Even though he was from a Christian family, he was not like most Christian children. He never played any musical instrument. Instead he was actively involved in singing and rapping and apart from that, he was always protective of his friends and siblings. As he grew up, he realized he was becoming a good listener and was always giving advice to his friends, both single and married. Little did he know that the name Ray means ‘adviser and protector’ while on the other hand Simon meant ‘hearing’. When he was barely fifteen, his grandparents brought into the family ten street kids. He had to adjust to that kind of life. At first it was difficult, but this improved with time.
Babu was among the young kids who were brought into the family. There was a strong connection with him, he challenged Ray to start playing the guitar. So one day they had guests from the USA, one of them (Aaron Fry) started teaching Babu and Ray how to play the guitar. It went on for a week, but Ray gave up on the way; on the other hand Babu forged on. Today Babu is a great worship minister in church and plays different instruments, among them the guitar. This touched Ray in a great way. He asked himself, “If Babu can come from the streets and become such a talented worship minister, how many more are out there?” Thats when Ray’s ministry of helping vulnerable boys and girls started.
At the moment, Ray is the founder and director of a ministry called True Heroes, where he seeks to find talented vulnerable boys and girls, train and position them to attain spiritual, social, and economical heights that are beyond their wildest dreams and later become women and men of divine destiny.
The Story Unfolds…
According to S’ambrosia
In April of 2009, James Murunga (Ray’s uncle and a family friend of mine) emailed me and asked if he could introduce me to his niece and nephew through email correspondence. I agreed, and began communicating with Kristine and Ray. We shared a bit about our histories, our relationships with God, and kept each other informed of what was going on in our lives at the time. Though Ray and I got along really well and I enjoyed getting to know someone from across the ocean, I was not interested in him romantically. After getting the sense that our relationship may not be completely platonic, I did what dateless wonders do best… I stopped talking to him for a year.
It wasn’t until his uncle invited me to come to Kenya that we began talking again. The thought of finally getting to meet him was exciting, but as I prepared for the trip, I did make the remark to my sister-in-law, “I hope they don’t try to set me up with Ray.” (lol)
Famous last words… it didn’t take long for me to begin journaling about my interest in the man that I’d held at arm’s length for so long. I couldn’t tell if he was into me though, so I kept my secret to the confines of my journal. Then, during our time of ministry in Bungoma, it was like something clicked. One day I looked at Ray from across the churchyard, and this desire to be near him swept over me. I looked at this man and just knew that he was the one I wanted to cover me for the rest of my life. He had won my trust, my affection, and my heart. The process of the both of us sharing how we felt took a little time, and we didn’t actually share those things until I returned home, but by that time, even the great physical distance between us couldn’t change the way I felt.
According to Ray
In April 2009, I received an email from my Uncle James who used to make frequent visits to the USA. Apparently there was a cc to my cousin Christine too. Uncle James had asked us if we could connect with S’am and get to know each other specifically on spiritual matters. We agreed and started talking, and for sure i was really excited especially on the fact that i was a teenager and I thought something good could come out of the whole thing. (You know what I mean.) However my dreams were shattered barely a month after we were introduced by my uncle. S’am stopped responding to my emails. I added her up on Facebook much later, we talked for a while, but again she locked me out. At that time I didn’t quite understand the reasons to her actions. (She later explained, we now good. lol) Towards the end of 2011, I tried commenting to some of her photos hoping she will reply with at least a thank you, but it was never the case. I still remember that picture to date.
We broke the silence a year after when my uncle informed me that S’am was coming over for the youth conference. Since I was doing part of the organization, Uncle James requested that I start communicating with all the speakers and musicians who were coming. I said to myself, ” This time round, she has no choice”. So she we started talking like on a daily basis, though I had to act like a man and payback for the time she was ignoring me, I was never in a hurry to respond to her emails this time round, even though it was on a more serious matter. I was excited that she was coming. I had moved on, and was deep into our ministry, so I had no interest in her. (true story, sorry babe. lol)
She came to Kenya, I picked her from the airport but I treated her like a guest. Though it was a bit different with others since we had a ‘history’ together. A few days after she arrived in Kenya, I started noticing weird but nice stuff happening to me. The last time I had felt that, was when I had just started dating a few years earlier. I promised myself that I would do nothing about it since am not her type. A few days before she left Kenya, as I was picking her together with my aunt and cousins, our hands touched and it was magical. It was weird but I knew she felt something too. Yet again I didn’t tell her anything, considering now she was going back to the States and nothing good could come out of us. It was only until she arrived in the States, that we realized we were meant for each other. Am not a long distance type of a guy, but am surprised by now, I still feel the same way I felt for her when she said ‘yes’ to me.. The only words to describe that are ‘naturally divine’.