Here in Uganda there are many traditions that are not good for the people. One of these is 'bride price' where a girl's family asks for goods such as cattle, goats, chickens, blankets, etc. in exchange for their approval to marry her. Most are so poor that it is almost impossible for the men to provide such goods, so the couple will just live together without any form of marriage, have their children, and the families don't seem to object to it. When the missionaries teach couples like this they are unable to baptize them because they are not living the Lord's law of chastity. If the couple is truly converted we provide a way for them to be married without any cost to them. Some seek permission from the families, some don't. Since we have been here in Mbale we have been involved in getting five couples married (three more pending). The only problem is, Mbale has not yet received the government's approval to have marriages performed at our building, so we have to transport the people to Jinja which is two hours away.
Paul and Scovia were the first to be married. He was baptized the Saturday following their ceremony. She was baptized a few weeks later. He is now the Elder's Quorum Pres.
Wilson and Catherine had miracles occur that allowed them to be married. Catherine followed Wilson into the waters of baptism and they have been stalwarts in the church.
Samson and Jackie were so happy to be married and be baptized the following Saturday.
Sam and Jennifer were married a week ago Saturday and baptized this Saturday.
Nisha and Joseph on the right of this picture are a happily married couple now and will continue to be taught by the missionaries as they prepare for baptism.
It is so fun to be involved in this work of joining families together and bringing them into the Lord's church.