In 2006 Jeremy came to Niger to live and work with our family. He got to see all sides of missionary work. He saw some of the thrills, a lot of the discouragements (we were going through probably the most discouraging time in our ministry while he was with us), the hard work, the required perseverance, the necessary sense of humor, the importance of spending time with people, and the rewards. This picture brings back some memories and is an example of some of the things he experienced....we had just come back from Niamey. While we were gone the workmen were supposed to repair our salanga (latrine). We had no running water due to a water shortage and had to haul in every drop of water we used, so we conserved greatly by using the salanga instead of flushing the toilet. Well, if you look in the background of the picture, you will see a huge cement slab leaning against the wall. That is the top of our salanga. Yep, we came home, the work had been begun but was not finished, and we were met with an open pit. So, you guessed it, we precariously balanced on the edge of an open pit (and not an empty pit, but....well, use your imagination) to do our business. And that's how Jeremy was. He just did what he needed to do while showing an incredible maturity and reflecting Christ. I know it was often difficult for him, but we really grew to love Jeremy during the six months he lived with us.
So it was exciting this past weekend to be able to go to his wedding to Julianna. As is typical of Jeremy (and of Julianna) their wedding reflected their love for each other, for their families, and especially for the Lord. It was a truly fun celebration. A lot of things in the wedding were unique to Jeremy and Julianna (at least they were things I had never seen before).
When Julianna's dad gave her away,
he explained how they had given her a purity ring and he gave the ring to Jeremy. He said the original ring had been lost, but her purity was still intact.
Then when the pastor asked the best man for the ring,
the groomsmen started tossing it back and forth between them (not the REAL ring, obviously!). Instead of doing unity candles, Jeremy and Julianna mixed jars of sand into one big jar. Then they took communion and while they were worshiping together, two of Julianna's friends (she is a trained ballerina)
danced while a soloist sang Faithful God. Another unique and really cool thing, is that Jeremy's grandpa was one of the groomsmen.
The reception was also beautiful. Jeremy and Julianna's wedding dance was great...it's fun to watch two people who really know how to dance, one of them professionally. Of course, they had Julianna dance with her father and Jeremy with his mother, but then they had an "in-law" dance and Jeremy danced with his mother-in-law and Julianna danced with her father-in-law.
Then mid-way through Julianna's dad came and cut in and danced with his wife, Jeremy went to Julianna, and Jeremy's mom came and danced with his dad. They also had the dance for all the couples and then they eliminate them by how many years they've been married.
The couple left the longest had been married 45 years and were Julianna's grandparents. Jeremy used the opportunity to ask them for advice to a happy marriage. The answer..."patience" and "love".
I'm so glad we got to attend their wedding! And I know they'll have the patience and love it takes to have a long and happy marriage.