Saturday night I married two couples from one of the newly planted house churches. Both have only recently come to know the Lord through the ministry of one of our national team members, Marlene Lorenti.
Pedro and Patricia (not their real names) have lived together for over 20 years without ever marrying. Their daughter, "Maria," has been living with her boyfriend, "Mario," for three years now following in the steps of her mother. Mario and Maria have their own daughter who is two-years old.
When all four came to know the Lord a few months ago, they themselves said "we need to make things right with God, and with each other." So mother and daughter, along with the guys set up an appointment with me through Marlene, the church planter who had led them to Christ. I listened to their testimonies and heard first hand how Christ has totally transformed their lives. They were concerned about having a good testimony in their community and asked if I would marry them. Both couples want to serve the Lord, and since the church meets in their home, they figured it was time to make things "right."
Saturday night around forty invited guests met on the terrace of one of the homes. Marlene and others had decorated and set up tables and chairs for everyone. All the way through the ceremony, the two-year old daughter threw a tantrum (see above photo) trying to get her mother to hold her. Finally, someone came and took the little girl outside, but that was even worse as she began screaming and crying all the louder!
We eventually managed to get through the ceremony-- even though neither couple was able to get their rings on due to having bought sizes too small. After the bridal kiss, we all sat down together for the wedding banquet which had been prepared by Marlene and members from her house church. Of course, before we were able to eat, I was requested to accompany them in our car to go get the food which was being kept warm at Marlene's house. We had the standard chicken and rice, along with potato salad (here pineapple, peas, carrots, onion, and corn are standard ingredients for potato salad--quite tasty!)
After eating, Pedro comes up to me and asks if I would sing #68 on page 44 (out of our green song books we use.) I told him I would be glad to, but what was the song? He said he couldn't remember, but surely I must know--missionaries know everything! :) I told him I didn't have any idea what #68 was! He told me it was his favorite and to sing it anyway. Just as I was about to get up and sing "something", it was picture taking time and he was rushed off by his new bride, WHEW!
Both Pedro and his new wife Patricia are currently in our Wednesday night COSECHA church planting training course. They are thrilled to be working together now as a team in their section of the city as house church planters/leaders. Marlene will most likely turn the work over to them now, so that she can go plant a new church elsewhere.
Would you just pause a few seconds and whisper a prayer for Pedro, Patricia, Mario, and Maria that the Lord would use them greatly in reaching the thousands of people within a stone's throw of their house church? Thanks!
(Top photo is shot from their balcony, bottom photo is part of the church that meets in their house.)P.S. For the few readers familiar with our green "cancionero" #68 on page 44 is "Sin yo quererte, tu me quisiste". It was the first thing I looked up once home. Great song!