Saturday, January 17, 2009

First Wedding in Iquique

It's a quarter to one o'clock in the morning, and Pedro and I just returned from our first wedding in Iquique. Two out of three kids were still awake when we arrived. I guess we are fitting right in with the bohemian rhythm of this place! :)

The wedding was very special because the couple is newly saved (as of last year) and both were baptized this past Sunday. They have been together since 1999 and have a seven year old son. Like many unsaved Chilean couples, they maintained a marriage-like relationship without ever making it formal until today.

It was a small ceremony with only around 25 people present, followed by a sit-down meal provided by the parents of the bride. Many of those present were unbelievers who clearly heard the gospel message shared through the testimony of the bride and groom as well as the charge given by Pastor Hugo to the two of them.

Prior to the wedding, our colleagues had shared with us that the bride in particular seemed very hesitant about making a big deal out of this day, perhaps out of embarrassment. Among other things, she chose not to wear a bridal gown and asked that pictures of the wedding not be shared publicly online. What made tonight even sweeter, then, was seeing how she allowed herself to relax and enjoy the evening. She became emotional during the special music and again as people shared their thoughts and congratulations with them. At one point, the groom surprised her with a Powerpoint presentation of their relationship with one another over the years, ending with their new beginning as children of God.

It was a precious time of celebrating their love for each other and God's love for His people. He is truly a God of second chances, a God who makes all things new. Glory to His name!

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