Over the last few months we have attended 2 weddings. (Well parts of the weddings as typical weddings here span 2 weeks) The first was the sister of one of Bruce’s co-workers (a Medical Officer like him) We basically were invited because of this connection. We were told the celebration would would start at 6pm and to just bring the kids. Thinking better we decided to leave the older 2 at home with a friend and bring just Lily. The Celebration called a “Send Off” STARTED at 8pm! There was dancing and then dancing and then some honoring of the families and then some dancing…during which we awkwardly asked. “Which ones the bride?” then there was a speech and then more dancing. Then a ceremony to feed the elders some cake followed by.. you guessed it.. more dancing. By 1030pm dinner had not yet been served. Lily thankfully had fallen asleep in her carseat hours before despite the loud music and we tried to unsuccessfully sneak out. It was definitely a cultural experience. The next day when people asked how it was and they were like.. “oh man.. I know..its looong” we we confused why no one warned us what a long ceremony it was. Then they said.. well if we told you would you have gone? Bruce’s response.. again? not unless we love that person A LOT! Haha.
The second wedding was of a friend we have made over the last few months. He is an amazing testimony to God’s faithfulness and the freedom and power that comes with believing in Jesus. His wedding (we attended only the actual ceremony) was an amazing thing to experience. Seeing God’s hand and faithfulness in this young man’s life has been such a blessing to us.
G’s story goes like this. He was born and raised Muslim. He’s actually the only one we know from our village that is now walking with Jesus. First off there is a lot of witchcraft that happens in Tanzania and our village is no different. People visit the witch doctor or natural healer for a variety of services. So G was working during the day and then going to bed at night and then waking up in the morning feeling exhausted with dirt crusted hands and feet. This happened several times and he was feeling very puzzled by this. So basically he found out that a local witch doctor was putting a spell on him to make him work in her garden during the night. (Ya.. this stuff actually happens here.) Once he realized what was happening he sought out some YWAMers to find out how he could stop this from happening. The YWAMers told him about God and Jesus and how he commands all spirits to obey Him. They told him that once he received Jesus he would then have that same power to command these spirits to flee. And he did just that. He then did a Discipleship Training School (DTS) at our base and then spent some time in the south of Tanzania working as a missionary. He has now been back in our village and met and married a beautiful Christian girl. I love to hear stories like this of Gods redemption.
G’s wedding was actually really enjoyable. One of the girls from our base who is Tanzanian commented afterward how the preacher was nice but he spoke too short of a time for her liking!! We were telling her how it was long for us although shorter than most services here. We told her how our weddings last about 30-45 mins and then there is the party afterward where the first thing we do is feed the guests. Such a difference in culture. We also do not really invite loads of people who we do not know well because we are paying for them. In Tanzania you buy a ticket to attend a wedding. Its a way for the community to help pay for the couples wedding.