GO Africa’s first weddingRich Stigall
By Alison Barfoot
The day is yet to come when one of the children being loved and cared for by one of GO Africa’s partner churches will get married. But, GO Africa still celebrated its first wedding on 24th November when our Facilitator for Local Partnerships got married in Bunia, Congo. This wedding has been a long time coming for Rose, her family, and the entire GO Africa team – all of whom have walked with her through the entire process…and, will be there to support her and her new husband, Michael, in their marriage.
First scheduled for 3rd November, the date had to be moved to 17th November because of family reasons. Then one of Rose’s closest Aunt’s died, so the wedding date was again moved to 24th November. Even with two changes to the date, there were almost 1,000 people at the colorful wedding and reception.
The wedding was almost four hours and the reception went until late in the evening. Rose’s husband is from Congo and Congolese love choirs and love to sing. So, there were three choirs that sang during the service. There were about ten people who braved the journey from Uganda to the wedding. Though only 100 miles from the border with Uganda by road, the journey took them ten hours because of the poor condition of the road.
The GO Africa team, however, had planned to fly on Wednesday, 21st November, but there was rioting that day in Bunia because the government troops and the UN had prevented the rebel takeover of Goma, a city far to the south of Bunia. So, flights were cancelled that day. On Friday, only Alison was able to make it to the wedding. The rioting had stopped and Bunia was peaceful, with many weddings taking place on Saturday and Sunday, and nightclubs in full swing late into the nights.
Rose and Michael approached the blessing of their marriage very seriously; Rose’s parents gave each of them a gift of a Bible; and, the service included Holy Communion as a way of sealing God’s blessing upon their marriage.
At the reception, the couple presented each family with small versions of the wedding cake, fed one another with cake, and then dancing and rejoicing broke out over the wedding party and the crowd gathered together.
Rose and Michael will be making their new home together in Kampala as Rose continues her powerful work and ministry with GO Africa.