“I’m so excited and I just can’t hide it.” – The Pointer Sisters (2008)

Fewer lyrics could better describe Ivan Kirunze, ROWAN’s faithful literacy teacher, and his radiant bride on their Big Day. In Ugandan culture, men do not typically smile during their weddings, but clearly, nothing could wipe the smile from this man’s face!

 Minutes before the wedding ceremony begins, Ivan beams with joyful anticipation.

Despite their culturally-rebellious grins, the couple followed the extravagant pre-wedding tradition known as “Introductions.” At this ceremony, hundreds from the community gather to witness the man arrive at the woman’s home and formally ask for the parent’s blessing. In seeking their favor, he will bring a generous dowry of goats, cows, and/or fresh produce. But he can only ask for her hand if he can find her …

Amidst the humming fervor of the crowd, the man and the emcee of the event desperately search for the woman as one might search for the cartoon in Where’s Waldo? Upon her discovery and the family’s acceptance of the proposal, the rest of the night is filled with jubilee.

 Ivan unites with his stunning bride at the “Introductions” ceremony.

Isn’t it a beautiful thing to see a groom with unabashed love for his bride? Isn’t it incredible that Christ loves us, the Church, with the same passion? The Word of God tells us that …

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy … and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless … For this reason, a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. This is a profound mystery – but I am talking about Christ and the church.” – Ephesians 5:25-32

Congratulations to the newlyweds! May God bless you with ever-deepening joy for each other and for Him!



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