What you need to know:
Patrick and Nicolate met through Nicolate’s sister and first became friends. Slowly, he started realising that she would make the perfect wife for him and four years later, he still feels the same way. He says he is contented because he married the right person.
Patrick Kirunda met his wife, Nicolate through her sister, Helen Namuddu. Patrick and Helen had been friends since 1998 but she introduced him to the family at the beginning of 2012 and he became a family friend. In May that year, Patrick began courting Nicolate. After four years of dating, he asked her to marry him. She had appreciated his character so she said yes.
In November 2016, the two got married. He says many things led him to fall in love with her, especially the persistent inner feeling and witness in his heart that God had a hand in their courtship. When he met her, Patrick, a church minister, found an attractive, beautiful, calm, honest and respectful woman. She loved God and showed it privately and publicly.
“I saw it then and I continue to see today. Her Christian worldview about marriage and life then my friendship with her family before we ever thought we will one day become husband and wife made me fall in love with her. Helen’s assurance to me that Nicolate is a good person and will be a good wife was a major reason,” he further explains.
For Nicolate, Patrick’s love for God, his genuineness, respect for her, and his sense of humour were good reasons to trust him with her heart. As they dated, the two realised that their dreams matched.
“He is such an articulate person and writes beautiful letters. His calmness in adversity is admirable. He has a lot of positive energy,” she says, adding that he has done things to profess and prove his love for her.
She appreciates asking her to marry him and being there for her since they got married by supporting her throughout her visa process to the United States of America (USA) and during the time when she was travelling abroad for the first time.
“He is patient with me in learning many things. For example, when I was learning to drive and assimilating to my new home in America. He prays for me, steps in to offer help daily, his transparency and he truly practices what he preaches,” she says.
The right person
Patrick says the idea of marrying the right person is what makes a perfect union. “Nicolate is the right person for me. During the four years we have been married, she has not done anything that would make me think otherwise. Despite my imperfections, she continues to love and support me consistently. She continues to demonstrate to me that indeed, I made the right choice,” Patrick adds.
He observes that like any other marriage, they go through challenges that can easily steal the joy between them. He says that as Born-Again Christians, they concluded that God is the source of joy and the giver of joy so they rely on prayer, constantly asking Him to give and fill them with joy.
“We choose to focus on the positives about each other and we overlook the negatives. We purposely find a way of encouraging each other, especially if one of us feels downcast. We have discovered that in helping each other, we bring joy in our marriage and family. For instance, if there are things Nicolate is doing that requires assistance; I will step in immediately and help her,” Patrick reveals.
The couple has respect for one another. As a result, they find themselves not being offensive to each other. Instead of blaming each other, if one of them makes a mistake, they look at the mistake and figure out not to make the same mistake again.
They have kept communication channels open. They talk to each other about anything and all things. Nicolate adds that they talk and pray about everything and anything, big or small.
“Being Born-Again Christians helps us to live our lives openly with no pretense. Our differences work for us, not against us and we are on the same team,” Nicolate explains.
What does it mean to love each other and uphold family values in the diaspora?
Nicolate says unity and oneness in goals, briefs, finances and having a reverence for God sustains love in the diaspora. She notes that when it comes to family life, America is an individualist society and because of that it can be lonely.
“Everything is governed by time, so you have to make a deliberate effort to invest time and be each other’s best friend. Do things that fit within your family needs and pray for each other. Have values that are backed by God’s word to govern your home and do not let external pressures influence your decisions,” she further observes.
As parents, they plan to raise their children in the ways of God and provide them with all the tools they need to live in the world successfully. As ministers of the gospel, they plan to launch out in full time ministry and take the message of hope and salvation to the hurting world.
The couple share their finances and each has access to the other’s bank accounts.
“My husband is good with finances and I am learning a lot from him. He has taught me to live within my means and not to spend what I do not have in order to avoid debt,” she adds.