Mike Farag, 32, was looking forward to his fifth trip to help the Global Orphan Project in Haiti. It was 2010, and he’d celebrated St. Patrick’s Day too vigorously the day before — he barely made his flight out of Kansas City.
On a layover at the Miami airport, Mike met the rest of the volunteer team and noticed beautiful 26-year-old Kim Picker of Kansas City.
Mike: “Kim was enjoyable to talk to. I wanted to get to know her, even though I had just ended a relationship and wasn’t ready to date.”
Kim: “I felt an initial attraction and pushed that aside. I wanted to concentrate on our mission.”
The unfolding: During the six days in Haiti, Kim and Mike focused on their volunteer work. On the flight home, Mike was delighted to find himself seated next to Kim. They talked all the way home, discovering many common interests, including a shared faith, a desire to serve others and a love of travel. Mike was divorced: Kim was single.
“The conversation was impactful for both of us,” Mike says. But Kim was disappointed when he didn’t ask for her phone number after they landed.
A month later, she saw Mike at a Haiti reunion party. Once again, both felt their strong connection.
After the party, Kim went home and prayed, “Lord, I don’t know how, but I believe Mike will be part of my life.”
A week later, Mike popped up on Kim’s Facebook page, inviting her to join him that night; he’d received last-minute tickets to a Steve Martin bluegrass concert. Kim met him downtown, and after a magical evening, they began dating.
The proposal and wedding: In May 2011, Kim told Mike, “By the way, I want to marry you.” That November, overlooking the Missouri River, Mike proposed by singing a song he’d written for Kim. They were wed in Kansas City on March 17, 2012.
Favorite shared activities: They love bike riding, hiking, camping and exploring new restaurants. They also enjoy reading, cooking and praying together.
Careers: Mike owns Fervor Marketing, which helps small businesses and nonprofits make an impact. Kim is a psychological counselor at Resonate Relationship Clinic. They live in Prairie Village.
What keeps their relationship strong: They believe a good church community is key for a great relationship. They are also dedicated to helping each other.
The qualities they most appreciate in each other:
Kim: “Mike is a passionate man and a clear communicator. He helps make me a better person and he’s invested in our life together. ”
Mike: “Kim is a caring person with a great intelligence and a beautiful spirit. I feel we were meant to be together.”
Deborah Shouse is a freelance writer. The final Star Magazine Love Stories will appear in Saturday FYI for the next few weeks.