The post we share with you this week is a guest post from Brook Seekins’ YIELD To God Blog and we are excited to share it with you this week. It is filled with beautiful pictures of a wedding in Tanzania and gives unique insights into Tanzania’s wedding culture. Brook has invested much in the lives of the youth of Tanzania teaching them about abstinence and the importance of honoring God through marriage. These weddings that Brook attends are a great way we see the fruit of that ministry taking place. We are so thankful and praise God for the difference it is making for Christ in the lives of these young people. Please read what Brook shares. As you read and learn about this ministry and way of life, be challenged to use it as a tool to help you learn better how to pray…
Because we teach Abstinence in many camps, seminars, and conferences, we are excited when we can see them “wait” have a church wedding. The other option: run off and live together, which means you are married too. Unfortunately this means the young people haven’t awaited their families to get the Bride-price figured out, they haven’t waited for marital counseling seminars from pastors, they haven’t waited to celebrate with their church family the holiness of marriage. So when a young person gets married, they invite me to celebrate with them. I gladly attend the weddings, hoping to encourage them and their parents that it is a good thing.
The culture doesn’t let the bride smile on her special day (otherwise she will be considered prideful). They do lots of trilling and have lots of choirs sing. They give their gifts openly so everyone can see what is given.
So when people harvest in June and July, they are able pay the final parts of the bride price and their sons can get married. Every year in July –November we celebrate lots of weddings. We make sure there are always marriage licenses in the church office to keep it legal. I have a collection of wedding dresses that we rent out for a small price. They sent me the bride’s measurements and we bring along a dress that is approximately her size. We drive hours sometimes to get to remote villages and celebrate all day long. How special it is to have campers and other seminar attendees reach this special day!
Knowing it is wedding season, we have been checking out our dresses and veils, making sure they are in good repair and ready to go. My recent guests helped altar some dresses and repair others.
At the bride and groom’s homes they fly a flag showing there is a wedding there! If they finish the bride-price, the father and uncles of the bride, give the groom an arrow showing that he is the man of the house now. If he breaks up with his wife, the arrow must be returned.