Tragedy struck on Aug. 5, when two young newlyweds died in a car crash just one day after they were married.
The 19-year-old newlyweds, Austin Wesson and Rebekah Bouma, died in a car crash in Clearwater, Kansas, the day after they had been married, according to Tribune Media Wire.
The couple, who had met during a mission trip in February in South Africa, where Wesson was from, were engaged in June. They got married in a courthouse ceremony on Aug. 4 so Wesson could stay in the U.S., but planned to have a larger wedding in September, with Wesson's relatives coming in from South Africa.
Rebekah's mother, Rachel Bouma recalled her daughter saying "I'm Mrs. Wesson," and smiling as the couple left the ceremony, according to The Washington Post.
"You are my wife," Wesson is said to have replied to his new bride.
The couple expected to exchange vows again during a religious ceremony in Rebekah's parent's backyard. The bride had already picked out her wedding dress for the event.
The cause of the crash is still under investigation, according to police. The couple reportedly crashed into a tree after their pickup truck went off of the road. Wesson, who was driving, died at the scene of the accident, and Rebekah died in a hospital in Wichita a few days later.
"It is with an unbearably shattered heart that we inform you that our darling daughter, Rebekah Christina, went peacefully into the arms of her loving savior," wrote Rachel in a Facebook post on Aug. 7. "She is with the Lord that she love so deeply and so joyfully and she is with her husband of just one day, Austin Wesson, whom she loved with all her heart. We thank God that they are together while grieving their loss so very deeply. Please keep both our families in your prayers and especially that Austin’s family would be able to be here quickly."
"Our hearts are just broken," said Rebekah's father, John Bouma. He added that the lives of "these two beautiful young people" had been "cut short" but that "obviously it was in God's plan to take them home to heaven."
Rebekah's parents recalled that despite how young the two were, "they were very serious about each other," and Rachel remembered seeing "how sweet their love for each other was."
"It was very tangible," said the mom. "You could not see them and not know. They just lit up a room."
The couple had planned to move to Michigan, where they would have started college. They also planned to keep traveling and going on mission trips, according to John.
"They had a very strong faith in God and wanted to serve Jesus, be the hands and feet of Jesus, ministering to others people," said the father.
"I think her greatest love in life was to serve other people and invest in them," Rachel said of her daughter, reports The Wichita Eagle. "Bekah was selfless. She loved to get close to people and help with whatever they needed."
Sources: Tribune Media Wire via WGHP, The Washington Post, The Wichita Eagle / Featured Image: ILoveButter/Flickr / Embedded Images: Rachel Bouma/Facebook via The Wichita Eagle, Bouma Family via The Washington Post