Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Oh, Happy Day!

We are invited to many, many weddings, but I only go to a handful. If I weren't selective, I would be spending nearly every Saturday at a wedding/reception from about 11 a.m. til 4 p.m.

Last weekend, there was a wedding that we simply could not miss.

About ten years ago, seven children, ranging in age from 17 to 2 years, trooped into Bayo's office, and the eldest announced, "Our father told us that when he died, we should meet you, and you would tell us what to do." Dumbfounded, Bayo's jaw dropped in amazement. The ministry immediately started taking care of their feeding, school fees, and basic living expenses.

The children live in a town about an hour and a half outside of Jos. They continued living there with the ministry providing for their needs. One church in particular has been supporting many of this family's needs through the ministry for the past five years or so. When the children are on their school holidays, they often come to Jos and stay in Bezer Home.

Well, on Saturday, July 3, the eldest child got married. This was such a happy day for us, as we have seen how the Lord has truly been "the Father of the fatherless."

The wedding was slated to begin at 10 a.m. The first car from Mashiah Foundation arrived about 9:30 a.m. bearing the wedding gown. Amazingly, brides here don't really stress about things like that. We came in the second car and arrived about 10:30 a.m.

We had time to chat with both the bride and the groom. The bride was all dressed and ready, sitting in the back of a car, waiting for the service to start. The groom was ambling around nervously, just waiting.

After 11 a.m., I went into the church with the kids. It was pretty empty except for the band which had been playing ever since we arrived. I loved the toilet tissue streamers that were dotted with markers and strung throughout the church.

And then the different groups of girls/women started dancing into the church. This is always my favorite part of any wedding so I really try to get there "on time." Here, Sister #6 leads the way with her friends, all dressed in their uniform of choice.

Sister #3's group is close behind with their own uniform. Two more sisters with their groups of friends followed.

And finally, the bride danced her way down the aisle.

That's Sister #3 looking on. Bayo actually stood in as the bride's father and gave her away.

The newest couple in town.

Sister #5 dancing away. Notice all the money on the floor. This is a Nigerian custom called 'spraying.' People come and place bills on the bride's face and groom's face as they are dancing. The money falls to the ground and designated 'secretaries' pick it up and give it to the couple later. Generally, small denominations are used. Most of these bills are ten naira notes which are worth about seven U.S. cents.

People coming out of the church after the wedding. Notice the planted field which is probably for the pastor or the congregation.

Lots and lots of dancing at the reception.

Sister #2 looking on.

Sister #4

Sister #5 posing for the camera.

Sister #6

And the only brother, following 6 sisters.

It was such a joyous, wonderful day. We were pleased to participate in all the festivities.

In Nigeria the honeymoon doesn't always start immediately. The newest couple in town went to church on Sunday morning at the same church where they were married. Then on Monday, they came to Jos to greet their Mashiah Foundation family. (When a couple wears matching clothes, it is symbolic of their oneness in marriage.) Now I think they have finally gone for their honeymoon!

1 comment:

Dorothee Whitaker-Fehlmann said...

Wonderful pictures! :) I hope to attend a Nigerian wedding while in Jos. That would be such a wonderful experience.