He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord. Proverbs 18:22
Dear Friends and Family,
Recently, there has been a marriage revival at Arise Christian Fellowship. One Sunday morning as Brian was teaching the topic of marriage came up. He told the church what true marriage is and that if you are just living with someone and calling them your spouse that is not marriage but it is fornication. This is true no matter how long you have been doing it and no matter how many kids you have had together. To be married you must be legally married according to the law of the country we live in. In Uganda the law states that a couple must have a marriage certificate to be legally married.
Recently there has been a marriage revival at Arise Christian Fellowship.
Living in Uganda for many years I have heard many teachers say this to many different groups of people. The reason being is that traditionally getting married here is so expensive. Couples tend to give up with out even trying and settle on living with each other. Traditionally couples first must have the visitation where the boyfriend visits the home of the girl to make his intentions of marriage known to the girls family. This also involves him bringing gifts for the family. At this visitation the family negotiates a bride price often equaling more then what the man earns in a years wages. If the family accepts him then an introduction is planned. The introduction is really a traditional marriage because it is when the bride price is paid. At the introduction both sides of the family are present and everyone has to be fed and entertained, all which also takes money. After the introduction the church wedding takes place and this alone often costs the couples so much that they are paying it off for years to come. All of theses traditional requirements often leave a couple with what they feel is no choice but to live together unwed.
What was so different about the teaching Brian gave was that people responded in conviction and desire for repentance. I have never seen anything quite like it. Couples coming forward, some who have been together for many years and confessing that they are living in sin and wanting to make things right. One of the couples had been talked to in the past about their relationship and had responded very obstinately but now they were weeping over their sin. We knew God was working in all of their lives and that we had to find a way to help them make things right, 1st with God and then with each other.
…people responded in conviction and a desire for repentance.
In Uganda pastors are not ordained to perform marriages but churches and places are. For a church to be able to legally perform a wedding it has to own the land it meets on as and fulfill many other government requirements. If this were not the case Brian could just marry any couple who wanted to be legally married. The way we must do it is to have the couples get married at the marriage registrar, which is like the justice of the peace. We worked with the couples on filling out the forms to submit and acquiring all the necessary documents. It takes about a month to complete all the requirements. Brian also used the time to talk with each couple about biblical marriage and the roles of husband and wife.
It was fun to see how the couples responded to each other during this time. It was like they had begun their courtships all over again. The oldest of the couples have grown children together and yet they stopped calling each other husband and wife and started calling each other boyfriend and girlfriend.
…some had thought they would never see the day when they were legally married…
On the day of the wedding the couples showed up at the marriage registrar dressed beautifully and the women were shaking with nerves and excitement. Some had thought they would never see the day when they were legally married with a ring on their finger. After the wedding we threw them a reception at church where Brian blessed the couples and we were able to celebrate with their friends and family.
The most remarkable thing happened after the weddings: there was a visible change in the countenance of the couples, like a weight had been lifted and a light turned on. They have also commented that even they have noticed a change in their relationships with one another. It is remarkable the difference it makes when sin is put away and we choose to live for the Lord. Brian testified about the wedding at church with out mentioning the couples so they would not be embarrassed but they all stood up to be a witness to the couples who may still be struggling with this same sin. I truly believe God is causing a marriage revival, and now have 3 more couples who have come forward. Lets pray that they will soon be legally wed as well.
Thank you for praying for our family and for the ministry in Uganda.
Praise the Lord for all He is doing in lives of the couples at Arise Christian Fellowship.
Pray for those who have been married that their lives will reflect biblical marriage and be an example of Christ’s love.
Pray for the couples who are still living in sin that they would be convicted and encouraged by the testimony of these couples and chose to legalize their marriages.
Pray for the many visitors coming through Uganda and Sudan.
Continue to Pray that we would truly “Arise and Shine” the light of Christ in this dark place.
Pray for Brian as pastors and leads our ministry team at Arise Christian Fellowship. Pray for all the ministries and leaders.
Please prayerfully consider becoming part of the Kanyike Family support team