I am thankful that life contains many moments of God’s perfect grace, joy and love. This past weekend I was invited to attend the introduction ceremony of Mugisha John, a sponsored student. John is a hard working and smart young man that shows great promise and I was honored to attend.
In Uganda, tradition dictates an Introduction ceremony for any couple wishing to be married. This is the formal opportunity for the bride to introduce the groom to her family and for the groom to show up with the gifts for the family–yes, cows, chickens, bags of sugar and lots more. It is an elaborate ceremony where the families get to know the bride and groom and have the opportunity to welcome the new members of the family. This is a critical event in any person’s life and an Introduction is often more costly than the wedding. In fact, the Introduction is sufficient for Uganda to consider a couple married, but the church has said that a marriage before God is necessary. (Personally, I think God is ok with an introduction because Jesus was definitely present this past weekend!)
It was a joy to celebrate with John and Claire. All who attended had to wear traditional dress–kanzu’s for men and gomez for ladies. The ceremony is always interesting–even when you only understand 1/10th of what is being said. Ugandans love to laugh–so there was much laughter throughout the day. A good portion of the AOET staff attended and it was wonderful to celebrate together as one family!
But the romantic in me mostly loved seeing the look of pure adoration in John’s eyes. After the cermony, we were eating a feast fit for a king and Claire entered the room. John’s eyes lit up and he said, “Tina, that is my WIFE!” He was so proud and hopeful and joyful! He calls Claire his princess. And although we just met, Claire has a spark in her eyes that made me like her from the beginning. (And Jaja says she is great. So if she has Jaja approval, she has my approval.)
I posted a ton of photos in Facebook for so many of Johns friends that could not be there. So head to my Facebook page if you want to see lots of pretty things but if just you need a quick glimpse of joy, check out this video that I think captures the day perfectly.
I <heart> hearting.