Weddings are a huge part of culture but I think it goes unnoticed how they really affect a society. Tanzania has had an explosion of weddings in the past few months including three in the past week. These weddings have sparked weddings in neighboring churches and regions. The messages at the weddings encourage young people to wait to have a wedding rather than starting to live with their wives, which in Tanzania is a sign of marriage. This message has convicted and encouraged those hearing it.
When a bride and groom decide to hold a wedding rather than just begin to live together and be married, a very large celebration is held. Not only is it a celebration of the love of two young people but also that of two families coming together. The wedding is a symbolic measure that offers an opportunity for the families to gather and celebrate this joyous occasion. When the couple has a wedding the celebration is huge and they are greatly gifted by their family and friends as opposed to those who begin living together and have small celebrations. It is considered very disrespectful on the entire community when a couple begin to live together rather than have a wedding.
The third wedding of the week had a few complications that show the struggle and the strength of one man’s faith.
“The groom’s father has passed away which makes it much harder to get a ‘bride-price’ together. But he and his older brother and mother and relatives worked together to make this agreement. They didn’t have the cash to meet one of the qualifications which is a thank you to the mother of the bride and a very important part. So they gave several goats to meet this cost. The bride’s father agreed that if they met a certain amount the rest of it could be paid off over the years. Being a Christian he wanted to encourage the wedding. At the point that the groom met that amount, many unsaved family members told him to ‘take his wife’ but he said he would wait until he could have a wedding before God and everyone. That is a testimony!” -Brook Seekins
Congratulations to the newlywed couples: Robert and Rucy, Davis and Aulea, and Richard and Sala. Please pray for their new lives.
We praise God for those involved in the weddings and those engaged to be married in the upcoming months both in the United States and all over the world. These weddings have not only had a lifechanging impact on those involved but also on a few select people surrounding the wedding environment.
A woman who offered her living room up as a dressing room for one of the brides began going back to church all because the bride got dressed in her house!
After watching the ceremony in awe, a local “medicine man” went to church and afterwards asked the pastor how he could be saved and stopped with his past lifestyle of “practicing medicine.”
A few days after the “medicine man” was saved, a woman sought him out seeking “medicine.” He went to the pastor for advice and led her to the church. She is from the Wasukuma tribe who are very traditional in that area both in dress and lifestyle and beliefs. This woman accepted Christ because her “medicine man” led her to the church where the pastors led her to the Lord. The woman asked if she could sing with the choir and they agreed. So at Saturday’s wedding she was up front singing with her brother’s and sister’s in Christ. That is amazing since at the first wedding in this village only a few weeks ago, she had nothing to do with God or the church! But because that medicine man attended that first wedding this woman is saved and her husband may be soon.
The “medicine man” is also doing well and has stopped drinking and smoking and said he has never slept so well. He will slowly be discipled by the local pastor and elders. One day soon he will have them help him discern which things in his home are part of his former lifestyle and he will take them all out into his yard and burn them! Just like the Ephesian church in Acts 19:19.
Praise the Lord for how He is working in the lives of so many. Praise the Lord for how He is using weddings to affect so many. Pray for these young Christians as they take stands in their communities and families. It will be a rough road ahead for them to stand firm in their faith.