Saturday, August 27, 2011

Bigger Than A BIG DAY!

Peter & Hassinah

Happy Wedding Day ... Hassinah & Peter
Heads shook knowingly in agreement.  "It's not easy," Peter said this afternoon.  The challenge is common in Africa.

He fell in love with Hassinah, but there was a big problem.  He was not a Muslim.  She was.  Multiple problems, challenges, and troubles began there. Additionally, her family had money.  His was so poor they put grass in sacks for mattresses and put salt in boiling water and call it a meal.  Their relationship was not what was planned for this Muslim girl.  She was meant to marry a Muslim man who would have some means to bring into the marriage.

With this ring ...
But, these two young people who met in secondary school loved each other.  Though Peter's family begged him to "let that girl go" he could not.  His own family verbally abused him because of the relationship, compounding the challenges he already faced with her family.  Hassinah was finally "chased" out of the clan for her decision to remain with Peter and she was cut off from her family.

Non-traditional Kiss!
These details and more were uncovered when Jeff Kasigwa and I talked with Peter, on our Western Ugandan mission trip, about making their marriage official with a spiritual ceremony.  A flood of unpleasant memories washed over Peter and soon his head was in his hands and his eyes were leaking.  Gradually, since that time, we have discussed a plan to visit Hassinah's father and see if the family would bless their union.  It seemed an impossible dream, but Hassinah was encouraging such an attempt.  Peter was thinking maybe next year.  Hassinah was thinking maybe even before Pam and Paul leave for the United States!

Dove Voice Band in rare form!
A trip was made deep to the village to visit Hassinah's father just ten days ago.  Peter was so sick with dread that I drove the van.  He begged me to "please speak for me Paulo."  Several of us encouraged Peter that we had prayed and we were confident the Lord had gone before us.  Wow ... what an understatement!  The extended family was not only prepared for us ... even with a meal for us to eat ... but they had removed every major and minor obstacle for Peter and Hassinah to overcome.  Peter, through me, asked his father in law to forgive him for not seeking his permission and blessing several years ago.  The father not only forgave Peter, but blessed their union and told them to go and develop their lives together.  The sisters and aunties were excited about the potential of a wedding for Hassinah.  But, our suggestion that the wedding be held in just ten days only increased that excitement.

Peter with his "best man"
What a day we shared with Peter and Hassinah.  As I write this blog they are in Kampala with the NGM van and eating a dinner together that few Africans can ever afford.  They have reservations at a nice motel tonight and have been blessed beyond their imagination.  The wedding was energized by the Dove Voice Band and Jimmy Kiwanuka officiated. More than anything, God was glorified and the grace of Jesus was displayed to believers and non believers alike.  Hassinah told me, "This is a day I will never forget!" just before they left for Kampala.

The marriage covenant was God's idea and was one of those amazing gifts given to mankind by our Creator Redeemer for fellowship, fulfillment, and family ... as Jimmy shared with the bride, groom and all of their guests.  What a joy to see these two work through their struggles and come to enjoy the resolution the only God can bring.  As Peter said multiple times, "Glory be to God!"
Finding their groove

1 comment:

  1. I never cease to be blessed and amazed at the goodness of God. Especially when he removes obstacles that seem impossible through our earthly eyes, but nothing (as He puts it) for Him. Congratulations on a beautiful event that brings two people together to walk a new path with the Lord guiding their steps. He is merciful and His mercies are NEW EVERY MORNING. He has definitely made you all glad!
    God bless you all--Teri and Jim Harold

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