Our last day: A wedding in Uganda

(From 9/6)
To our faithful blog readers:

Last night, Sonja and I were wed.  I doubt that the excitement of our actual wedding day will surpass the excitement of the fifty kids who ran around shouting with joy as Sonja and I took part in our Ugandan wedding. 

Patrick told us yesterday morning that he had a surprise for us, and later that afternoon, William and the orphanage mom came into our room bearing gifts.  I was given a Kanzew to wear which is basically a white robe that you might have wore playing Gabriel in the Sunday School program in 5th grade.  Sonja was given a Gomes which is a three layered explosion of cloth with pointed shoulders and an extra piece to enlarge the hips and legs.  She was looking good. 

We were ushered down to the orphanage and through the orphanage gates.  When the kids saw our formal Ugandan dress their delight was uncontainable.  Screaming. Running.  Dancing.  Laughing. Hugging.  It was so much fun.  We were seated and some of the kids performed a song and dance.  Mama and William also sang solos for us. 

‘Pastor’ William gave a brief sermon out of Genesis 2.  It was actually quite good considering its impromptu nature.  Then he made us stand wedding style and asked me if I would take Sonja for better or worse, “in all the kinds of sickness, when she vomits towards me and all other things.”  I said of course.  Sonja was asked something similar but less colorful.

Then Patrick (who donned himself the MC of the night) brought out a little white cake with pink decorations that read, “happy birthday.”  He laughed and said his friend was going to throw it out so he just took it.  We cut the cake together, and everyone got a little bite of sweet bread with raisins in it.  Then some kids gave speeches in which Sonja was told to respect me and the following girl made sure to tell me that I had to respect Sonja too.  We were pronounced Mr. and Mrs. Schut (which Patrick spelled so he didn’t say it wrong). 

Then the kids brought us gifts (letters) and then Patrick brought out the gift from him and William.  I have never wanted to capture a moment and keep it forever more than when we saw the painting Patrick had gotten us.  It floored me.  The whole episode was hilarious and beautiful and unexpected, but this painting came out of nowhere.  It is an indescribably unique painting with a woman breastfeeding a baby.  It will hang in the entryway of wherever we end up living, and I will watch with delight the faces of the people who come into our home.  Patrick explained that the orphanage is like a baby and we have been breastfeeding them.

Finally, we went out front where the borrowed speakers were blaring “Celebrate, Jesus, Celebrate” and we danced. 


We left those kids this morning.  They are going to be in school this term though.  They are going to study and learn. And we will be back, we promised them.  We told them we’d be back, and I won’t break a promise.  Not to them.  I need them too much.