It is a day that most couples never forget: the day they meet their soul mate. That day wasn’t any different for Austin Wesson and Rebekah Bouma. 

The couple met on the mission field in South Africa and were married four months later.

But tragedy struck when they both died in a car crash less than 24 hours after their ceremony.

The accident happened outside of Clearwater, Kansas. According to first responders’ reports, the truck the couple was driving left the road and wrapped itself around a tree. 

Austin was pronounced dead at the scene and EMTs took Rebekah to a Wichita hospital to save her life. She died Monday morning. 

Rebekah’s father, John, remembers the first time he received a call from Austin. 

“We talked for a little bit on FaceTime,” he told the Wichita Eagle. “He was a very serious and respectful young man. I gave him my blessing.”

It was during that phone conversation that Austin asked for John’s permission to date his 19-year-old daughter. 

Although John was 9,000 miles away from the couple, he knew that it was true love. 

“They were very much in love,” John added. “There was no doubt whatsoever that their love was the real thing.”

“They both loved the Lord – they wanted to be the hands and feet of Jesus.”

That love for God was evident in their heart to serve.

According to Rebekah’s mother, Rachel, her daughter was always that way.

“I think her greatest love in life was to serve other people and invest in them,” Rachel Bouma told the Wichita Eagle. “Bekah was selfless. She loved to get close to people and help with whatever they needed.”

Rebekah had been on several mission trips, including the Philippines and Albania, before her nine-month trip to South Africa as part of The World Race. 

Austin, who is from the country, was working and completing mission’s work when they met. 

Rebekah’s family is grieving but shares that they are finding hope in the fact that their daughter is with the Lord. 

They had planned a larger wedding celebration in September with Austin’s family coming in from South Africa.    

“They were excited about the future,” John said. “From all appearances, they were meant for each other.”

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