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“I Do!”: We Are Faithful!

As pilot Daren Spence walked down the path Sunday morning in the Taliabo village, he smelled moth balls.  Why would he be smelling that on an isolated tropical island?  Because it was wedding day! 

For months, 140 Taliabo couples  — young and old — had looked forward to the day when their marriages could take a step toward being recognized in the eyes of the government. 

Though they were wedded according to the cultural norms of their people group, their marriages were not official. But it’s something that they – and the government – really wanted. So they had spent the last months procuring birth certificates, citizenship cards, and photos to prepare for this day.

When national pilot Nomad Nelman landed the Kodiak in Taliabo Friday noon, he had brought chief pilot Daren Spence as well as national church and mission leaders. One of them, Pak Yansen, had been an early missionary to the Taliabo people and knows the language well. To prepare the believers for the wedding ceremony, Pak Yansen stayed up all Saturday night, individually interviewing every couple who wanted to formalize their marriage.

Sunday dawned! From corners of their sparsely-furnished split bamboo houses, the couples took their finery out of mothballs. Most of the guys sported long-sleeved white oxford shirts – and some even had ties. The ladies adorned themselves in intricately embroidered, colorful lace dresses.

Though they were wedded according to the cultural norms of their people group, their marriages were not official. ”
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The couples crowded into the rustic church building.  It was time for the vows.  Older couples shyly declined to hold hands and face each other.  Even young couples only held hands.  But when the leader came to the part where the men say the I do, they boldly shouted, “Bersetia!”  We are faithful! 

Shortly after the ceremony, the couples put their finery back into mothballs.  But the vibrancy of their marriages will continue.  Pak Yansen made sure the Taliabo leaders have copies of a book on marriage and family, and village church leaders plan to teach further on God’s design for the family. 

You can help transport teachers like Pak Yansen to the isolated Taliabo island and enable them to have strong Biblical teaching to bolster their families.   Join NTM Aviation Flight Crew or donate to Missionary Flight Sponsorship Program.


Tags: Asia-Pacific region, Taliabo People,
POSTED ON Apr 14, 2017 by Wonita Werley