Do you remember how old you were when you seriously considered getting married? Maybe you started planning in your 20’s or 30’s. Did you choose your wedding date based on venue availability? At the Vietnamese ministry, we were surprised to learn that some of the young Christian ladies are currently planning for marriage in their late teens. We have at least 3 young ladies, ages 16-20, that are planning to get married this year. For these ladies, marriage is a family decision. The groom’s family and bride’s family need to formally meet to approve of the marriage, and then they agree on a bride price (in contrast to a dowry) before getting engaged. Finally, it is the groom’s family that chooses a wedding date based on the lunar calendar and cultural superstition to ensure it’s a lucky date; they may consult elders in the family or fortune tellers.
Our team felt there was a need to start a weekly premarital class for these ladies to teach them about a woman’s identity in Christ and help prepare them for married life. Praise God that these ladies are interested in attending a class together and last week 6 ladies came to the study. We are still looking for some good Christian resources that are culturally appropriate. What saddens us is that all of the current male fiancées are non-believers and the majority live in other cities. We feel there is an urgency to pass on Biblical wisdom to help enrich their marriages and family life; especially, if they plan to move to a distant area after getting married.
Kevin and I have also been invited to attend a training conference in Indonesia at the end of February. This is an exciting opportunity to receive training to become Grip Birkman Coaches. Grip Birkman is a spiritual gifts and behavioral assessment tool that is currently being used by our organization to help workers understand their strengths/weaknesses and help teams work together more effectively for God’s purposes. We weren’t sure if both of us would be able to attend because childcare is not provided but by God’s provision, we are excited that Kevin’s sister Christine will be coming to Siem Reap to help watch the kids while we are away. SHhhhhh…It will be a surprise for kids, they have no idea their auntie is visiting!
- We had many C&MA Canadian leaders visit Cambodia last month for a time of encouragement and relationship building.
- God provided a way for Auntie Christine to come visit and spend time with Marcus & Mackenzie.
- May God give Carol wisdom in teaching the premarital class and that the 6 ladies will continue to attend regularly.
- Protection for our family while Christine is watching the kids in Siem Reap and while Kevin & Carol are in Indonesia.