Saturday, May 25,
Dear Friends and Family:
Marriage is a blessing given from God and today we experienced this blessing in Uganda as guests of Alexander Gumoshabe and his beautiful bride Phiona at their wedding in Kabale. The wedding was held at St. Phillips Church of Uganda with ACT Operations manager Josiah Nankunda serving as the best man for the smiling groom, who was very handsome in a black suit and red.
The reception was held at Kigesi Gardens, a beautiful setting which was enhanced by three large tents, one for the wedding party and two others for the wedding guests. A traditional lunch of matoke, roasted Irish potatoes, fried rice and white rice, white sweet potatoes with a choice chicken or beef with sauce, g-nuts, and large beans. To drink, there was soda or the local delicacy known as obeshera (a drink made from boiled water, sorghum and ash followed by fermentation to make a sorghum beer.
Justus Masanyu and Generous Turinawe served as the master and mistress of ceremony at the reception, where many gave speeches (mostly in Rukiga). The team was aided by Francis, Demus, and Haward who were able to translate for us. Gifts were brought forward with great ceremony to present to Alexander and Phiona with much dancing and singing. Dave carried the gift from ACT USA forward, with well executed dance steps much to the delight of all of the Ugandan guests. The cake was cut with great ceremony and the bride and groom knelt in front of each set of parents to serve them a small piece of cake. Much to our surprise they honored the ACT Mission Team in same way! A humbling moment of special honor for us. They also gifted the ACT Team with one of the wedding cakes, and as this blog is being written we are sharing the cake amongst ourselves and the management, wait staff, guests and Generous and Jorryn at the Jopfan Hotel.
Music was a major component of both the wedding ceremony and the reception and at the reception the ACT team from America gradually made their way onto the lawn to attempt some of the Bakiga dance moves (an aerobic endeavor to say the least!).Karen and Kelsey performed Bach and Pachelbel for an appreciative audience. This was preceded and followed by a disc jockey playing exuberant African music. At the end of the reception, sad goodbyes were said to many as the team departs for Kampala tomorrow at 8 am.
A surprise visit by Josiah, Justus and Alexander occurred after returning to the Jopfan. Alexander returned to faithfully carry out his responsibility to retrieve some baskets that he'd neglected to set aside as samples before the remainder was packed for the trip to Michigan. After quickly retrieving the baskets the team chased Alexander out of the Jopfan to join his bride who we thought might be growing more lonely by the minute.
God blessed our final day in Kabale in a special way through Alexander and Phiona's wedding. We pray God' s blessing on their marriage and their life ahead1 We also ask for your prayers for safe travel as we begin our journey home.