When Rachel and Charmaine first met in secondary school, they bonded instantly over the fact that they were both failing English Literature (this was caused by an excusable inability to wrap their fifteen-year-old minds around Hedda Gabler). They also despaired at the prospect of failing their national Higher Chinese ‘O’ Level examinations. Instead of buckling down to study together, they decided to spend their afternoons looking at cute animal stationery from Popular Book Store — and of course, gallivanting around Orchard Road. At the close of the school year they passed their exams, but ended up parting ways to attend different schools.
One fateful afternoon a few months later, they bumped into each other at the National Library and decided to have dinner. As they talked, they quickly realized that they were both in the middle of a dark and lonely season. That night, they experienced a rare vulnerability and were able to share their burdens with one another. Something wonderful and mysterious happened: God planted a seed of real friendship, and offered both of them hope and comfort through the other’s presence. Their dinners together became a regular occurrence, and they began to bond over new things (like being C.S. Lewis nerds, and the carrot cake at Cedele bakery). They spent many happy hours emailing, eating, walking around supermarkets, and doing Bible studies…until Rachel left Singapore and flew to Canada & the U.S.
Charmaine now works in family law and still likes the carrot cake at Cedele. Even though Rachel misses being in the same country as Charmaine quite terribly, she is deeply grateful for their now-transcontinental friendship. Rachel marvels at how God chose to pour out a great measure of love and grace on two lost teenage girls, and joyfully anticipates spending her wedding day with this precious friend!
Harmony had heard amazing things about Rachel through friends in Full Measure and RCF long before they ever met in person when she interviewed Rachel for an intro CS TA’ing position. (Rachel got the job and was amazing at it.) At that time, Rachel and Harmony were the only two computer science majors in their college church fellowship, so they quickly bonded and held each other accountable through code compiling and non compiling days. In God’s providence, Rachel and Harmony would both end up getting software jobs in the Bay…. and then both started dating guys named Karl Li (they can both assure you that they are two different Karl Li’s, so if you hear them differentiating using possessives, that’s why). While they weren’t able to room together in the Bay, they were able to meet up every so often to continue accountability over dim sum in Inner Richmond and coffee near Union Square. Unfortunately, Harmony has since moved, so accountability is now not as tasty via FaceTime. Harmony now lives in the LA area and still battles woes of non-compiling and buggy code (as does Rachel).
Joanne is grateful to have called rachel a friend for the past fourteen years. Their journey began in primary school back in singapore, where the pair took part in a competition to build a paper bridge that could withstand the most weight possible. They lived on opposite sides of the street during their secondary school years, and in God’s playful providence, found themselves living across streets from each other again three years later, just this time ten thousand miles away at UPenn. Joanne calls new york home for now, and is excited to continue walking with rachel into a new, frightening and blessed chapter of married life!
Rachel and I began our friendship as housemates in the beloved 1218 home (with lovely Marie too!). We were just three bright-eyed and bushy-tailed college graduates, moving to San Francisco, ready to take on the world. Fast forward through a year full of laughter, tears, mourning, silliness, jam sessions, and just plain weird, and last May, Rachel and I found ourselves moving into a lovely one-bedroom apartment on the other side of the city. Now, I live in her living room! This move was happening around the same time that I left my ever-so-exciting job as an actuary at the end of July to go back to school and become a math teacher. With all the crazy happening in my own life, I thank God every day for putting Rachel in my life. On any given evening, you can find us sitting on our living floor, either watching Parenthood or having a long conversation on the brokenness of the world. “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” – after the longest of days, I’m so grateful to have someone to unload the heaviness of the day with. She has blessed me in more ways than I can count and I dread the day Karl will take her away from me. But putting all selfishness aside, I am beyond thrilled for Rachel to have found someone as cool, caring, and thoughtful as Karl and am so honored to be a part of their wedding day.
Rachel was looking for a housemate that wouldn’t disrupt her. Marie was looking for friends who would laugh at her constant stream of stories. Justine was just looking for a place to lay her head.
After a year full of laughs, tears, impromptu worship nights, prayers on the floor, deep conversations in the kitchen, Hamilton singalongs and a memorable time huddled around the heater, 1218 21st Avenue became a home and not just a house.
Other words that the women of 1218 use to describe each other include: community, darling, wow Marie you’re such a hipster, sister in Christ, dear friend, sanctuary.
Some phrases that have migrated from Marie’s lexicon to Rachel’s: that’s my aesthetic, Paul is so spicy in this passage, y’all, on point.
When she’s not hanging out with Rachel having intimate conversations in public places, Marie can be found writing code or poetry. Marie is originally from Texas and won’t let anyone forget it. She sings in an acapella group, loves dancing, and is an aspiring performance artist. She is passionate about intersectional feminism, social justice, creating enthusiastically inclusive spaces, and growing her relationship with Christ. She feels so incredibly blessed to be a friend of Rachel and Karl’s, to be able to see their relationship grow, and to support them as they enter into this new stage of life together (and will probably start crying during the wedding, let’s be real).
Selina was born and raised in Taiwan, and she loves stalking cats in west philly + eating all the crunchy food. Although they attended the same high school in Singapore, Rachel and Selina only met each other during college at Penn. Selina was a freshman, Rachel a junior. One of their mutual friends had sternly charged Rachel to “LOOK OUT FOR SELINA AT PENN!”, and so Rachel obliged by taking her to breakfast, church, and lunch one Sunday morning. Little did they know how their friendship would blossom in the next 3+ years! Countless mornings spent sharing life over fresh strawberries, bagels, & coffee; sunny summer days full of laughter and cooking experiments, late night phone calls across the country…
Selina is now a senior at Penn (!) and is planning to spend her summer in the Bay before returning to do a master’s degree. Rachel is selfishly ECSTATIC to have her near even though she knows that SF is not Selina’s favorite city.