The Shumaker Family's Blog

Our first Wedding

God has allowed us to do lots of different things since arriving in Africa.  We have seen God move, souls saved, churches started, been through two civil wars,  lived in three different African countries, and the list could go on.  The one thing that we haven’t been able to experience first hand is a wedding in our church.  We have been to a few, but never one in our church.

It is hard to understand the challenges to marriage, if you don’t live here.  There are three different types of weddings here.

#1 — The customary wedding — This is very diverse because it changes between the customs of each tribe.  When a man wants to buy a woman(sounds harsh, but that is the reality) he approaches the family.  They will tell him what he must give in order to have her.  The dowry can be anything from some special cloth, money, sheep, cows, etc.  After you give the things requested, she is yours according to customary laws.

#2 — Wedding at the Mayor’s office or the legal marriage —  This is the only marriage that is truly legal in the country.  The government doesn’t recognize the customary wedding nor a church wedding.  The catch is that you have to have a testimony from the wife’s family and one from the man’s family.  If you haven’t paid your dowry, you can forget the testimony from the wife’s family.

#3 — Church Wedding — As stated, the government doesn’t put any importance on this wedding, but  we encourage it because it is good to make vows  and celebrate with your brothers and sisters in Christ.

Not to tarry too much longer on this blog, I wanted to say that on August the 8th, God allowed us to celebrate our first wedding in our church.  A brother in Christ, Konate, has been very faithful to God and the church.  He actually is one of our young preachers that is in training.  He has left a good paying job to go into the ministry.  It has to be hard on him when he is newly married, but I know that God is going to greatly bless his new family and ministry.  If everything works out, he will become the assistant pastor of Living Water Baptist Church and will run the church while we are on furlough next year.

Konate's Wedding

Konate's Wedding with Shumaker Family

One Response to “Our first Wedding”

  1. alyssa Says:

    Very cool, I loved reading about the different wedding styles. I can’t imagine the 1st option!

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