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Thursday, January 27, 2011

More Redemption . . and CELEBRATION

More than three years ago a young lady came to our church at the urging of her Sunday School teacher, who happened to be one of my good friends growing up. He had urged her to apply to teach missionary kids in Uganda when she graduated from William and Mary. Little did we know that Sunday morning that Sarah would become like a member of our family. Meanwhile another young man was graduating from another William, this time without the Mary, Williams College. He applied to spend 18 months in Uganda with a possible interest in medical school. We took him on, partly because we were anticipating another young single guy whom we didn't want to be alone (who never came, ironically leaving Nathan alone most of his term). Little did we know then that Nathan would also become and integral part of our family and life. Sarah and Nathan served wholeheartedly in Bundibugyo during some rough years for the district, and for our team, and for us. They both did amazing jobs. But even more amazingly, they found God drawing their hearts towards each other. It is pretty ridiculous to even think about "dating" on a team where the singles function like siblings, where every moment and action is observed by a curious community, where there isn't a restaurant within hours, where privacy is culturally suspect. And where each of us is stretched to the limit. This is not a set-up for glamor or romance. And when Nathan and Sarah did realize their hearts moving in this direction, they bent over backwards to be sensitive and submissive. Even so, there was a cost to the other singles on the team, as well as their own cost. When Sarah finished her term Nathan remained, and they made the excruciating decisions about medical school/masters in public health options while they were 7,000 miles apart, taking some risks (waiting list) that panned out to put them in the same city.

So it is with more than the usual rejoicing that we received the news on Saturday of their engagement. Sarah and Nathan will be married this summer! I believe this is the fifth American wedding to come from Bundibugyo, two other couples who met there (Rick and Wendy, Eric and Joy) and two who met at MTI (Natalee and Wes, Rachel and Craig) . . . am I forgetting someone?? Bundibugyo is a place where marriage has fallen far from God's creative and beautiful plan in Genesis. Unions are temporary, sequential, financial, and too often end in violence or abandonment for women. It is NO SMALL THING when a marriage actually grows from this soil. It is the kind of amazing, upside-down, Kingdom-only work that God does to surprise us.

Nathan and Sarah remind me that we serve a God who is making all things new. Who prepares a celebration so wonderful, that a marriage supper is a weak analogy to help us anticipate the glorious reality. We rejoice with them, and pray for faith as they move forward in their life together, becoming a redemptive blessing to this world.

Congratulations to our dear friends!


Melissa said...

Hooray! Congrats Sarah & Nathan!

Anonymous said...

Isn't that just the coolest? We have had a few opportunities to meet Nathan--most recently a week before The Announcement. He seems like such a solid fellow.

The various Hutchison ladies indicated that there was much surreptitious glancing at Sarah's fingers that day, so it wasn't a huge surprise.

Congratulations to an outstanding couple!

Matthew H