Weddings in Mozambique, Aug/Sep 2014

Weddings are always so much fun. During this trip to Mozambique, A mass wedding with 15 couples while the USA team was here, a good evangelist friend who used to live with us at the mission base, a young couple in a remote village. This is not too long after the weddings of part of our team as they mature into the path that God has for them, and many other weddings of pastors and others both in Mozambique and Malawi. Many of the weddings are couples that already considered themselves married but never had a ceremony or publicly declared their commitment to God or anyone else - very common in Mozambique and we encourage couples to marry in a godly setting. Below are some reports written at the time:   


Mass Wedding, 15 Couples

During the visit of the USA team, we held a Big Sunday in the new church building for the church that currently meets at our mission base. The building does not have a roof yet, so we provided a temporary grass roof. We had told the churches that we wanted to hold a mass wedding to marry as many as would want to. We encourage couples that have been married in secular weddings, or that have not had a wedding at all as is very common here, to repeat their vows before God in a Christian setting. We had no idea how many would be prepared for the wedding if anyone - we hoped at least five couples. You can imagine how surprised we were to see 12 couples show up. Pastors Charles and Bryan from the USA team were honored to officiate the mass wedding. At the end of it, 3 more couples came forward hoping to also be married, and they were. It was very moving. It was a unique experience for me to see so many healings and deliveramces near the end of a wedding service, which by the way lasted 5 to 6 hours (including the rest of the service).  We're always so excited to see the Holy Spirit at work.

 Wedding of 12 couples
 Pastor Katie from the USA team praying for one of the couples

Simao & Rosa and
Mafio & Maonga

Before the USA team arrived, I officiated the wedding of Simao and Rosa. Simao lived with us at the mission base as he needed housing while finishing his high school. Now he has finished at the teacher training college and is teaching, living way down in Mutarara (southern tip of the Tete Province). He's a great example of the power of mentoring. Because of what he saw, helped with and experienced while he was with us, this young guy has now brought together many pastors in the area and they are holding outreaches every week. They keep attracting more pastors because of the very visible signs and wonders.  Not having seen this before, some of the locals called the police because of all the people falling down. After some testimonies, the police did not present any problems. He took over a church that had died, and it is now thriving.  This is all while holding down a full-time teaching job. Seems like there are similar testimonies from most of the young men that have spent time at the mission base but have now gone on to the next season of their lives. 

I was surprised at the beginning of the wedding when Simao's pastor and his wife (Mafio and Maonga) asked if they could be married as well.  They were married many years ago in a tribal secular wedding but wanted to do it now before God (same as the mass wedding with the team).  A few minutes later, after borrowing clothes and rings from here and there, they were ready to be married in the Church.



Domingo & Koloide

Then after the team left, another wedding. This time a young couple, Domingo and Koloide. We needed to wait until after the team left because we knew the roads to this village were not good, no way to get our bus there if we took the team. We found that the road was nearly impassable, our hardy 4x4 Land Rover struggled to get through in various places. The wedding was very nice, but the real joy broke out as we marched from the church to their house afterwards, probably the most joyful one I have been a party to in Mozambique. But things got very interesting as we were reaching their house. There was another group of traditional dancers with their ancestor worship, violence, and other tribal evil rituals (common in this village), also celebrating the wedding with their own songs and dancing. Without skipping a beat, the group coming from the church including the bride and groom changed to another song. Even with my very limited knowledge of Chichewa, I knew right away that they started singing "Satan, Flee!". For about ten seconds I was looking at the situation with a bit of concern, another example that my own faith needs to increase. The group then joined in with the songs glorifying Jesus Christ. I am confident that a seed was sown and each one of them will be lead to Jesus in the near future, even though we did not have time as we needed to return right after the next African custom, giving the bride and groom advice on their upcoming married life, sometimes embarrassing in public but that's how it's done.