It took me two years to woo her – Prophet Stanley Carmel
Boy notices girl on Instagram. He slides in her DM (Direct Message). Girl blueticks boy and ignores his messages for two years. Eventually she gives in. Years later, boy marries girl…This is the story of Rev Lucy Natasha and Prophet Stanley Carmel.
“I came across her videos on Instagram in 2017 where she was preaching about a royal wedding. Her beauty stood out. I went online followed her on Instagram, and in true online fashion, I shoot my shot and sent her a message. Well, she never replied, but for two years, I sent her messages of encouragement, prayers name it…” Carmel recalls.
In her defense, the Empowerment Christian Church preacher explains that she receives many DMs, but it was the consistency and tenacity of Carmel that made her reply.
“I’m a patient man, and because it is said good things come to those who wait, this is the testimony,” he says.
The two later met in the United States where they were both on a church assignment and went on their first date. “We met in Dallas, we talked for hours on end. The conversations were natural and the chemistry was effortless. We were vulnerable with each other, but one thing we were sure about was that it was the begging of something beautiful,” shares Carmel.
From Mathare to the world
While dating online has potential for pitfalls compared to physical one, the two had mutual friends from the church around the globe, making it much easier to do due diligence, hence the relationship took off successfully.
“Of course, meeting someone online in this era of fraudsters and cat fishing (the process of luring someone into a relationship by means of a fictional online persona) is not easy. However, it is important to do your due diligence. I did my research and because we had mutual friends in the Lord’s vineyard, I was comfortable even to meet up with him,” Natasha shares.
Natasha narrates how being a first born in a family of three came up with a lot of expectations. “I have a sister and a brother. We grew up and went to school in the slums of Mathare, Nairobi. It was a humble beginning, to say the least. There was no sign of breakthrough. But this upbringing toughened us. I now know how it feels to have little and close to nothing,” Natasha says.
She says how her parents struggled to raise them — her mum would cook mandazis for sale while her dad would sell meat to make a living. “As a firstborn, it was challenging because I had to play the role of a deputy parent. As the first child, you are the pacesetter of the family, my parents definitely had high expectations of me from an early age, be it in academics, discipline, among others,” she explains.
Growing up, Natasha had a dream of being a journalist. “I admired news anchors and I always thought I would one day be on the local TV screens — of course I made it to the screens, though not reading news, but preaching. I even pursued public relations in the university,” she says.
Natasha was involved in church activities from a tender age. “When my preaching videos started circulating years back, not many people knew that I’m a third generation pastor. Both my grandmother and mother are pastors — so I grew up in church ministry and by the age of 19, I was already an evangelist,’’ she reveals.
Surprisingly Carmel is also a third generational pastor, born and raised in India where he spent his formative years.
On cultural differences, the two share that as much as it has its challenges they have been able to come to a common ground. “It is a blend of cultures. I originally come from India, but I reside in Canada. Fortunately, we are both Christians and with the cultural difference aside, we have common values and virtues,” he says.
Pray and slay
Natasha shares how they have support from both families. “Because of our similar backgrounds, it was easy for our families to gel. Of course, just like any other couple, we had our worries when introducing each other to our respective families. But we didn’t expereince any resistance, which made our relationship easier, especially for our traditional marriage ceremony,” Carmel says.
Natasha adds, “I wanted to get married when the timing was right, I asked for a prayer partner. God answered my prayers.”
The couple got engaged in November last year at a church event followed by a traditional wedding two months later in January this year. They then proceeded to have a civil marriage at Attorney General’s office and got their marriage certificate. They have plans to hold a white wedding in India and a celebration in Canada soon.
So, how do they manage the long distance relationship? “The world has become a global village. We have to make time for each other, and therefore have frequent visits. We have a church branch in Canada and in Nairobi that requires us to be on ground from time to time. Obviously later, when the time is right and in agreement, we will settle in one country,” Natasha says.
Being in the limelight exposes one to the court of public opinion, and unfortutely, it can make one face a lot of cyberbulling on online platforms. Natasha shares how she is bullied online, especially, when it comes to how she dresses, or when she and Carmel display their affection in the public.
“I always go by the words Pray and Slay, I can only be true to myself and I wouldnt want to pretend just to please others. Additionally, my husband and I do not allow peoples’ opinions to pin us down, those that we reach out to are in millions than the few who misunderstand us,”she says.