Erica Marieanna DeCarlo
Larry Edward Potter

July 05, 2003
On the steps of the Billy Graham Center looking out on the campus of Wheaton College.

Erica began her life in Queens, NY, after which her family moved to Long Island, NY and then to Endwell, NY, where Erica attended Maine-Endwell public schools from kindergarten through 12th grade. Erica always liked academics, and developed a particular affinity for math. This led her to study math at Union College in Schenectady, NY, where she stayed to also earn a Masters in Teaching. Since that time, Erica has been teaching at Bethlehem High School in Delmar, NY, actively participating as a member of Crossroads Baptist Church, lovingly raising two wonderful cats, and prayerfully asking God to make her into the the kind of person who would attract the kind of Godly man that she has found in Larry!

Larry has had many job titles in his life, but none have been so precious and prayed over as husband. Even as a child it was clear that Larry has a special calling toward ministry on his life. He has served both as pastor and lay minister in various churches throughout Illinois, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. Youth/Children, Camping/Backpacking, Small Groups, and Single Adult Ministries have been some of his favorite. It was in a Small Group ministry that God made it abundantly clear that Larry’s future ministries would be in Asia. God’s providential addition of Erica to his life makes the prospects of current and future ministries seem that much more possible and even more enjoyable.

In faith and by the grace of God, they know that the best is yet to come, and they are in it together!

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There were many different events that God used to get each of us ready to finally meet via on September 13, 2002.

For Erica, after participating in an eye-opening study of Song of Solomon during graduate school and then reading Passion and Purity by Elisabeth Elliot shortly thereafter, she decided to pray and wait for God's best in terms of a husband. One of Erica's repeated assurances to those who thought she should be out "looking" for someone was "God knows where I am...and God knows where he (her future husband) is too!" Erica's six year waiting period came to an end when her friend Andrea told her about a Focus on the Family radio broadcast about eHarmony, after which Erica heard the actual broadcast herself. She prayed and checked out the site, and then decided to give it a try. Larry was not the first person Erica talked to, but he was the first (and only) match who asked if he could pray with her. That pattern of shared prayer has only grown over time. A shared interest in overseas missions further drew them together, as did a common interest in reading and learning. In so many wonderful ways, God continues to graciously weave their hearts and lives together in an undeniably divine manner.

For Larry it was regular encouragement by Barbara Stidham (his pastor's wife) to consider God's leading ("not waiting too long"), and a Christian radio broadcast shared with his mom in early July. After considering the web site and further discussions with Barbara, He took the two to three hour long survey to obtain the free personality and strengths/weaknesses portion of the service. Not feeling ready to be looking for a wife or having the budget to pay for the service, he did not request to be matched with anyone. About a month latter he received an email with an offer for a free month's worth of matching. Still not sure of God’s leading he held onto it for a few weeks until on August 13th, 2002 he entered the code to start accepting matches with women all over the United States and Canada. 68 “matches” later and on the final day of his free membership God brought Erica along. It reminds them both that “God is rarely ever early, but He is never late.”

One of their favorite sayings is that “God is in the details!”, and their meeting, friendship, romance, engagement, and soon to be marriage is one miraculous detail after another.

Before the moment Larry met Erica for the first time in Albany, NY on November 27th, 2002 he had started to fall in love with her as he learned first hand what a godly and precious woman she is, but it would not be until that day before Thanksgiving that he would see with his own eyes how absolutely gorgeous she really is. He knew that if God was going to be so gracious as to give him a wife like Erica that He needed to express his thanks by getting engaged in a special and romantic way. So, he hatched a "Top Secret Plan" that would involve the giving of 12 roses that lead up to asking her to be his wife.

Rose #1 - December 17, 2002
At a Women's Christmas Party at the Hardage’s in Albany, NY (Erica’s church and Bible study friends).

Rose #2 - December 25, 2002
At the home of Jerry and Sarah Hughes in Tolono, IL (Larry’s high school and Urbana church friends).

Rose #3 - December 27, 2002
At Mary Potter’s home (Larry's grandmother) in Camanche, Iowa.

Rose #4 - January 1, 2003
At breakfast at the Red Apple Restaurant in Wheaton, IL with Ted and Willow Myhre (good and long standing friends of Larry’s) and Linda (Larry's mom).

Before being "officially" engaged, but after meeting both of their separate worlds, they chose a date and started to plan their wedding in full force. Desiring God’s will for their lives and believing that includes each other, Erica and Larry are working hard to bring their worlds and lives together in a way that honors their Savior Jesus Christ and the gift that He has given them in each other.

Rose #5 - January 24, 2003
The day before Erica's birthday delivered to her work at Bethlehem Central High School in Delmar, NY.

Rose #6 - February 01, 2003
In the Albany-Rensselear, NY Amtrak Station, delivered in person by Larry on a surprise one day visit.

Rose #7 - February 14, 2003
At Bethlehem Central High School on a very surprise visit by Larry on St. Valentine's Day. It was the start of their adventure driving between Albany and Wheaton with a stop off at Niagara Falls.

Rose #8 - February 15, 2003
At Maury and Pat Potter's home (Larry's Dad and Step-mom) in Royal Oak, Michigan. They had the rose in a very special crystal engagement vase (a family tradition).

Rose #9 - February 16, 2003
At Chicago International Evangelical Free Church after the morning service With a little help from James Bardwell.

Rose #10 - February 17, 2003
At the home of Martin and Barbara Stidham (Larry's Pastor) before a fun meal with the entire family including their children Christina and Matthew.

Rose #11 - February 18, 2003
At Wheaton College in the President's Suite with the secretaries of the President, Provost and Sr. Vice President, all wonderful praying friends.

Rose #12 - Februrary 20, 2003
After a wonderful lunch at Mason Sabika in Naperville, IL, we toured the Billy Graham Center Museum at Wheaton College. After praying together about furture involvement in world evangelism and minitsry, Larry took Erica into the Chapel where the final rose was waiting, along with a gift and the ring.

This is the day we gave to one another the official titles of fiancé. We see each other as God's special gifts to each other. How we live our lives together will be our gift of thanks back to Him.

Our Wedding Countdown:
Time flies when you are having fun!

      Bethlehem Community Church
      Delmar, NY

201 Elm Avenue, Delmar, NY 12054
(518) 439-3135

A Simple and Beautiful Celebration of God's Gifts of Love and Each Other.

The church will be decorated in a motif of flowers, hearts and balloons in white, pink and silver. A cake reception will immediately follow the private ceremony.


      Henry Hudson Park
      Cedar Hill NY
The celebration will continue and expand into a gathering open to the public at Henry Hudson Town Park starting at 5:00 pm. Grills will be provided and a shelter is reserved, but it will be a bring your own Pot-Luck Picnic.

Henry Hudson Park
Off Route 144 in Cedar Hill
Barent Winne Road, Selkirk, NY 12158
(518) 439-4131
About 8 miles away.


Andrea Robinson: Erica's Friend

Jean Armstrong - Erica's Friend
Melanie Hardage - Erica's Friend

Ted A. Myhre - Larry's Friend

James Bardwell - Elder at Larry's Church
Jim M. Potter - Larry's Brother
Flower Girls - Abigail Bemis, Danielle Potter
Ring Bearer - Matthew Stidham
Program Distributors - Lydia Ford, Sam Ford
Officiants - Steve Ford, Martin Stidham
Guest Book By Barbara Bemis
Favors By Kim Krause 

Top Secret!
Quiet, Beautiful, Romantic Get-Away

(Before moving Erica, her cats and stuff to Wheaton, IL)

For the time being, Wheaton, IL will be our home, but the hope is to visit Asia as soon as the doors are opened in order to see what God has for us there. While still in Wheaton (a suburb of Chicago, IL) we will be doing everything we can to follow God’s leading each day as He prepares us for what is ahead. Part of that preparation will be to involve ourselves as active members of Chicago International Evangelical Free Church.

- To Pray Effectively and Powerfully
- To Honor and Serve Each Other in Love
- To Pursue Godliness, Wisdom and Knowledge
- To Share Christ Through Worship, Teaching, and Hospitality
- To Live Meaningfully, Simply and Beautifully with Thanksgiving
- To Be Spirit-Led Stewards of Our Bodies, Minds and Resources

306 Western Avenue, Apt. 6
Wheaton, IL 60187-4004
Phone: (630) 752-0150

- About shared adjustments and transition.

Both answered on the same day - Wednesday, May 21, 2003
- We found a suitable apartment in Wheaton.
- Erica is certified as a high school math teacher in the state of Illinois.
Another answer to prayer - July 24, 2003
- Eric is very close to getting what maybe an offer for a part-time teaching at a Christian High School

The following are links to helpful information.

Regency Hotel / Formerly – Howard Johnson
    416 Southern Boulevard, Albany, NY 12209
    (800) 562-7253
    $70.00 per night (if reserved by June 20th)
    Pat Sanderson, Group Reservations Manager
Quality Inn of Albany / Formerly – Days Inn.
    37 US Route 9W, Glenmont, NY 12077
    (518) 465-8811
    Amanda, Assistant Manager
Econo Lodge / Formerly – Stone Ends Motel
    15 Frontage Road, South Glenmont, NY 12077
    (518) 449-5181

JCPenney Wedding Registry
    We are registry number 00665034.
Christian Book Distributors
    A wish list of books for starting our new life together
    Books not available at Christian Book Distributors
Wheaton College Bookstore
    We get a 20% discount
Wedding Solutions
    Honeymoon Registry

Marriage Partnership
Discipleship Journal
Christianity Today
Moody Monthly

Marriage Alive
    with David and Claudia Arp
EMERGE Ministries
    with Dr. Richard D. Dobbins
Marriage Builders
    with Dr. Willard F. Harley, Jr.
Family Life Today and HomeBuilders
    with Dennis and Barbara Rainey
Focus on the Family
    with Dr. James Dobson
The Center for Relationship Development
    with Les and Leslie Parrott
The Five Love Language
    with Gary Chapman
Intimate Issues
    with Linda Dillow and Lorraine Pintus
Sexual Wholeness
    with Rosenau, McCluskey, Sytsma & Taylor
Smalley Relationship Center
    with Gary Smalley
The Path Less Chosen
    with Dr. Dan B. Allender
Passionate Commitment
    with Clifford L. and Joyce J. Penner
The Power of a Praying...
    with Stormie Omartian
Narramore Christian Foundation
    with Bruce Narramore


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