Sunday, March 14, 2010

Wedding season

Last Monday evening we had our last session of the marriage preparation course I have been leading. It was a great group and we had a good time together and hopefully each couple has gained something to help build a stronger marriage relationship.

This weekend the wedding season started as I drove south to attend Lilia's wedding. Lilia and Viorica at one time were my roommates during my time here in Moldova. Lilia eventually returned to her village, Gotesti, and became involved in the ministry of her local church there. She also met a guy there who she married yesterday.

Viorica went off to Angola to serve the Lord there and returned last year as she was unable to get a work permit renewed. Meanwhile she also began a relationship with a Namibian guy, Frans, and he has been here visiting over the last month. They have been able to participate in the marriage preparation course as well and as soon as they can get all the necessary documents in order their plan is to wed in Viorica's home church in Tintareni. Then they will return to Africa to begin their marriage in Frans' home country of Namibia.

Anyway, although a bit chilly, it was a beautiful sunny day for a wedding. Lilia's pastor is from England and the service was conducted partly in English and mostly in Romanian. Outside the church people lined up to greet the couple and to give them flowers and gifts. At some weddings it is predominantly envelopes of money that are given at this point but being in a poorer village, probably flowers are more appropriate for all to give.

Meanwhile the benches were being cleared from the church, the tables set up and laden with food for the wedding feast. It can seem like there is no more space on the table for food and the ladies would come out with two or three more dishes of food that had to find a space somewhere. The previous plates of food were never removed, just added to. By the time dessert arrived, plates were being stacked carefully to make room for the additions. I enjoyed sitting next to sora Lilia, the wife of the pastor from Vadul lui Isaac, a church that I had visited with some team members not too long ago. We came home stuffed but having enjoyed a lovely celebration and so happy to have been able to add our best wishes for the bride and groom. Congratulations, Lilia and Sergei!