“He is not here; for He is risen, as He said…” Matthew 28:6
Dear friends and family,
HE IS RISEN! HE IS RISEN INDEED!
This past month we had a very nice time preparing for celebrating Jesus’ death and resurrection. As we prepared there were other new beginnings taking place amongst our church members as well.
Recently, two of our church members, Wilbur and Leona, announced to the church their intentions of getting married. In Uganda the process of getting married is quite long. Of course there is the normal courtship / dating time. When the man wants to take the relationship further he doesn’t ask the girl to marry him, he has to ask the father and uncles. This is called the visitation. At the visitation the man will go with who ever would be his bestman and one of his uncles. They will meet with the male heads of the girl’s family and there they will discuss dowry and whether the family believes the match is acceptable. The man normally comes with some gifts to show his seriousness about the marriage proposal and his ability to pay dowry. After the families come to an agreement, then the man may ask the girl officially to marry him. After the girl accepts his proposal they then publicly announce their intentions to the church.
The reason behind this is twofold. First because the government requires at least three weeks of gazetting before a marriage so that if anyone knows of a reason the couple shouldn’t get married then there is time for it to be revealed and dealt with. Secondly, the couple will rely heavily on friends, family, and church members to cover the costs of the dowry and wedding expenses. The church announcement will then kick off wedding meetings about once a week where money will be raised to cover these costs as well as the planning of events.
Before the actual wedding, the couple will have an introduction. The introduction is a huge event, sometimes even bigger than the wedding. It is where the two families are officially introduced, the dowry is paid and the girl is “given” to the man and his family. It is very colorful and sometimes even involves a lot of acting, dramas and comedy. During this event sometime before the girls is handed over, after the gifts are given and dowry paid, the boy is required to eat a whole chicken. Wilbur and Leona this past month completed all the visitation, church announcement and Introduction, now we are looking forward to their wedding.
Starting with Palm Sunday the passion week was filled with activities and outreaches to make people aware of what the meaning of Easter is and what Jesus did for them so they could be saved. On Palm Sunday, palms are being waved all over. You see them in church being waved as we sing Hosanna and as Brian teaches about the triumphal entry but you’ll also see them decorating the front of businesses or tied to motorcycle taxis. With Uganda being a somewhat Christian nation this time of year is played out openly and in the streets. On Good Friday, many different churches come together and reenact the procession of the cross, literally in the streets. The cross is carried from one end of the city to the next. This year we saw it 2 times on the roads of Kampala.
At Arise Christian Fellowship we celebrated Good Friday and Easter Sunday with services at church as well as visitations to the needy families in our church to deliver chickens. The chickens are raised and sold by some of our church members so it blesses both the giver and the receivers.
On Good Friday, Brian taught about the last supper and Jesus’ arrest and crucifixion. Together as a church body we took communion and reflected on what Jesus’ death meant for us. On Easter morning we celebrated Christ’s resurrection. The second largest religion in Uganda is Islam. Currently they are celebrating Ramadan just as openly and passionately as Christians celebrate Easter. Brian shared major differences between their’s and our celebrations with the #1 being the foundation of Christianity and our hope, the resurrection of Christ. No other religion has that evidence or hope. Along with the message of Christ’s resurrection the church celebrated through special music and performances from the youth. We ended the celebrations with a light meal together.
Thank you for praying for our family and for the ministry in Uganda.
Brian, Jill, Luke, Laylee, and Liana
- We are so thankful for the many ways the Lord has blessed us and for everyone who supports us and the ministry in Uganda.
- Please pray for Wilbur and Leona as they take the steps to finalize their marriage. Pray for the many young married couples in our church to build their marriages on the truth of God’s Word.
- Pray for Arise Christian Fellowship as they continue to reach out to the market place and surrounding communities. Pray for those who have recently received Christ to grow in understanding and in a personal relationship with Him.
- Continue to pray for Luke and Laylee as they learn to navigate online school. Pray for the Kanyike children to get called for their citizenship interview.
- Pray for Brian as he pastors and leads the ministry team at Arise Christian Fellowship.
- Please prayerfully consider becoming part of the Kanyike Family support team.