Meg here! Recently I had the opportunity to see one of my good friends, Jenn, get married … in South Africa. Jenn has been living in Kenya for the past 2 years and met her future husband while volunteering at a missions camp her parents run outside of Pretoria, South Africa.
Jenn and I lived together in Argentina and we have tried to connect whenever possible- she made the trip to Virginia for my wedding and more recently we had 10 minutes together in the Miami airport when she had a short layover. So when she asked me to be a bridesmaid in her wedding, I knew it would be worth making the trip to Africa.
The trip was amazing and we got to go on a safari, do some serious hiking, see beautiful beaches and meet really interesting people. But the highlight was definitely the wedding. Symps is South African of the Xhosa people and the wedding was a hybrid celebration that integrated both American and Xhosa culture. Jenn started the day in a traditional American “white dress” and later changed into traditional Xhosa dress. When she entered the ceremony, everyone stood and the African women showed their praise and excitement by loud ululation, or high pitched trill/wail. The wedding party entered the reception by choreographed dance. The bridesmaids taught everyone the very American electric slide and the Africans led us in a wedding march dance. Jenn even received a new Xhosa first name in a formal naming ceremony. The whole day was a beautiful, joyful celebration that I was honored to be a part of.
|Jenn, Symps, me and a lovely flower girl.
Jenn’s faith has always encouraged me. She is a woman of substance; confident and secure in her identity in Christ. I loved meeting Symps and his friends and learning about how he has pursued the Lord and grown into a man of such strong character. Jenn and Symps individually have already made such an impact on friends and family across the globe, literally. And together they have brought such joy to everyone who knows them.
Seeing them together, I was overcome by how sweet the Lord’s plan was to bring them together and to match them so perfectly.
During the reception, I found myself thinking “I can’t believe I get to be here.” I love travel and experiencing new cultures. The time of worshipping, dancing, eating, praying and toasting with such a diverse group of people really felt like a heavenly celebration. I didn’t have very much in common with the groomsman I was paired with, whose name I couldn’t pronounce, yet together we could praise the Lord and celebrate the Christ-centered union of Symps and Jenn Ndlovu.
The following verses are some that I prayed over the new couple and for their joint ministry to come. This scripture is also an awesome reminder of how God provides for each of us to the point that our lives can bless those around us. We live for His glory and to invest in the lives of others.
2 Corinthians 9:8-11 (The Message)
God can pour on the blessings in astonishing ways so that you’re ready for anything and everything, more than just ready to do what needs to be done.
As one psalmist puts it,
He throws caution to the winds, giving to the needy in reckless abandon.
His right-living, right-giving ways never run out, never wear out.
This most generous God who gives seed to the farmer that becomes bread for your meals
is more than extravagant with you.
He gives you something you can give away, which grows into full-formed lives, robust in God, wealthy in every way, so that you can be generous in every way, producing with us great praise to God.
|Cape Town, South Africa