by Bob Grawey
His mispronunciation of her name made her heart flutter, then melt.
Her hand wave to him made him feel special, pasting a smile on his face; not realizing that same wave greeted everyone coming through the door.
Such were the beginnings of love for Audrey Jorgensen from South Dakota and Ron Misiura from Pennsylvania.
Their paths crossed while attending Pillsbury Baptist Bible College in Owatonna, Minn. in 1989.
Audrey checked in students at the school’s mandatory chapel services each day. Those on her list would merely wave to her as they came through the door to chapel so she could mark they were in attendance.
Even though Ron was not on her list, Audrey waved to him as well.
He says it made him feel she was giving him special attention; that she was interested. At the time, Ron had no clue it was Audrey’s friendly nature to wave to everyone coming through the door.
It certainly was not his only miscue in getting to know the girl from South Dakota.
At enrollment, Audrey found she needed two classes offered at the same time. One of her friends faced the same dilemma, so they decided to enroll in both anyway. Audrey would go to the science class and tape the lecture for her friend, and the friend would go to the history of civilization class and tape it for Audrey.
One day her friend was unable to go to class due to being ill, so Audrey handed the tape recorder to another student going into the class that day. That student was Ron.
When he returned the device to Audrey, he mentioned he had never heard of her name before, and pronounced it Au-dray.
“I thought it sounded so romantic,” she says, “that I didn’t bother to correct him.”
Spending lunches together, the couple began dating secretly.
It took a phone conversation during a snowstorm, though, for them to discover another connection beyond romantic feelings.
Ron began telling Audrey stories from his upbringing when she started to wonder what was going on.
“I thought, ‘This is very interesting;’” she says, “‘kind of sounds familiar.’”
Without either Ron or Audrey knowing it, her pastor’s wife in South Dakota and his pastor’s wife in Pennsylvania were sisters.
The Pennsylvania sister had shared stories of a family of teen-aged kids from her church who had gone through some difficult situations with their parents after leaving their parents’ church.
At their new church, the kids had made a commitment to live for God in a way their parents did not understand or readily accept.
The South Dakota sister then shared those stories with a teen-aged girl in her church who faced similar circumstances, and how the Pennsylvania teens had managed to navigate through those difficult times in a positive way.
One of those Pennsylvania teens was Ron.
The South Dakota girl was Audrey.
Audrey had already heard the very stories Ron was telling her on the phone.
“At first I couldn’t believe it,” Ron says, “No way!”
He says that sharing those stories and a history of similar struggles in their early years of faith added a new dimension to their relationship.
“We believed it was God who sovereignly planned our meeting,” Audrey says, “ and prepared us ahead of time for each other.”
But one thing still nagged at the edge of her mind.
“While I was praying one Sunday morning, I told the Lord Ron was a nice guy and all, but he didn’t seem to have a sense of humor,” Audrey remembers.
“That afternoon Ron told me all these funny jokes and stories and we laughed ourselves silly. Then I knew this was the man for me.”
The couple wasted no time after that, becoming engaged just three short months after they met.
Four months later they were married.
The romance during that brief seven-month period from meeting to marriage has continued for the past 22 years.
Each coming from large families, the Misiuras have six children of their own, ranging in age from 19 to 1 year old and presently live in Zimmerman.