Saturday, August 2, 2014

Wedding in Ostrava

Over the past twenty years we've been to this church many times.  But it's been a long time since we've been to a wedding at the Církev Bratrská in Ostrava.

Our good friend, Jirka, married his beautiful bride, Zuzka, today!

We've known and loved Jirka for many years, so it was a great delight when we got news of his engagement this year while we were in the States.

But even more special was when he asked Dave to give the message at their wedding. What a honor for Dave to speak to them on their wedding day.

These two are so perfectly suited for each other! I told them after the wedding that I've only cried more at our own sons' weddings...that's how meaningful this wedding was.

For less than a minute, the sun gleamed through the stained glass windows and displayed that beautiful rainbow right between the two of them. I could hardly see through my tears to take the photo! So, so very clear to see God's blessing on these two.

After signing their marriage documents (they do that during the service here), Zuzka's pastor from Tábor told us that she had something on her heart to share before the service concluded. I sincerely wish I'd been able to record what she shared as it was absolutely precious.

I've never seen a bride speak at her wedding so this is not something that's normal here or anywhere else that I know of.  But oh how powerful it was!

She shared about how her decision to follow Christ three years ago revolutionized her life, and about how the Lord later led her to write a list in her journal of what to pray for in a husband.

Literally down to the very last detail, God answered every one of her requests in Jirka. I wish I had the list to share with you because it was truly amazing!

But above all, you could hear her deep and absolute trust in the Lord as she waited for the man God had reserved for her.

It still makes me teary remembering her beautiful words as she lovingly shared at the end of their wedding. It's clear that she loves Jirka, and that he loves her, and that together they are perfectly suited for each other.

After personally greeting all their guests, we showered them with rice (they still do that here...I loved it!) as they exited the church.

The church is situated at the edge of a park in Ostrava, so after the wedding all the guests made their way outside for photos. I've often seen it done here for Czech weddings and I love this tradition: a photo of the bride and groom with all of their guests!

We did a huge group photo (I was in it so couldn't take one on my phone!), and then photos with different groupings and pairings of their guests.

It was an honor to be invited to the dinner and party after the wedding in Opava, a thirty five minute drive from Ostrava.

But before the dinner can begin, there is the traditional breaking of the plate. The bride and groom then must clean it up together to symbolize their new union.

This is no small task though when a) the pieces have spread far and wide; b) they have one dustpan and one brush to sweep it up and c) people keep stepping in to knock the dustpan out of their hands and send the pieces flying!

It's a tradition full of laughter, love and joy as you watch the pair figure out how to clean it up together.

Once that was complete, we all went inside and found our places at the lovely tables set for the wedding supper guests.

The meal commenced with the traditional first course of chicken soup.

But that's not the only tradition! Someone always drapes a pretty white "bib" around the happy couple. They are given one bowl of soup, and one spoon (in this case it was slotted making it all the more difficult!), and then the couple eats their first meal together, literally!

The meal that followed was delicious, lovingly prepared by Jirka's parents the day before, and served by the youth of the church. We sat across from his parents, enjoying stories from them of Jirka as an active little boy.

But that boy grew up into an incredible man of God who is so full of energy and desire to reach the people of his country with the Gospel. And now he has an amazing wife to serve alongside him!

What an absolute pleasure and delight to spend the day celebrating this dear couple, who clearly have God's hand of blessing on them. We believe God will use them mightily to draw many others to Himself.

It's a wedding I will remember for a long time.

In case you noticed, yes, I changed the color and style of my hair on Friday!

1 comment:

  1. What a sweet tribute to them as a couple! And I know I already told you today, but I'll say it again....I love the new hair color! It makes your blue eyes "pop"! :)