Yesterday (Sunday-it has taken me three days to try and download a video from the wedding) was a new experience for us. We attended a Ugandan wedding. Actually it began during our Sunday morning service. Normally the service starts at 10:30am and gets over at 1:00pm. The wedding began during the service that was also Family Day at New Hope. It was a perfect setting especially since the couple were not believers when they got together and had never had a wedding before God and His people.
What a celebration! After the church service got over the couple took pictures and everyone that was from the New Hope community went home to get their plates and forks then came back. The wedding "reception" got under way and it was interesting to see some similar traditions but also the Ugandan traditions. We were pretty hungry by the time we had lunch at 4:00 and the wedding was still going on. Unfortunately, being the green westerners we are, we didn't make it all the way through. It was still going strong when we left at 4:30.
The family is so important here at New Hope. From the nuclear family as a core (parents with children) to the larger family (all who believe), the family is core for understanding our relationship with our Father but also in relating to each other. This wedding was a good example. The nuclear family wasn't the only important relationship in this wedding it was also the larger community including the church but also the village. Wow, what a difference than the States. We very rarely have community involved unless it is smaller towns.
Kim and I are looking forward to our five months in the Institute of Childcare and Family where we live family and learn family from a biblical worldview rather than our western or Ugandan point of view. We have already experienced the love of the family here in the dinners we were invited to when we got here, in the greetings that are part of the culture and also in the friendships we have grown even since we arrived. God gives us love, security, patience, grace, wisdom and joy when we submit to Him working through family. I hope I'm learning and receiving these.
Only by God's grace, Tim