Monday, March 14, 2016

The rings of renewal

I would like to introduce you to our good friends Daniel and Deni. They are one of the animadores in Nuevo Egipto. Daniel has been a pivotal part of our mission. When Taylor found Nuevo Chimbote Daniel was the one who went with Taylor to go door to door asking if anyone wanted sacraments. Daniel and Deni helped us teach the people of Nuevo Chimbote how to have a Liturgy of the Word service. When we returned to the United States last September Daniel and Deni went to Nuevo Chimbote on Tuesday nights to continue preparing the children to receive the sacraments. They also went to Nuevo Chimbote on Sunday's to help with their Liturgy of the Word service. They are living examples on how to be missionary. Their love for the Lord is evident when you see them. We have been blessed to call them friends. We have enjoyed quiet time sharing what the Lord has done in our life and also listening to how the Lord has worked in their lives.

Daniel and Deni after renewing their vows with Bishop Demetrio of Cordóba Spain.

Daniel and Deni shared their desire to go door to door in the community of Nuevo Egipto explaining the importance of receiving marriage in the church. This is the same thing that Taylor and I shared God asking us to do. We asked them why people don't receive marriage in the church. They explained that people feel it is too expensive to get married in the church. For Taylor and I this was very hard to comprehend because the church does not charge to receive marriage. (We ran into the same issue when we were trying to convince parents to have their children baptized in the church.) We were told that people want to celebrate and have a party and wear a fancy dress. They also explained that buying rings was almost impossible due to the high price.

Renewing their vows in front of the whole community of Nuevo Chimbote

I can honestly say I laughed when I heard the excuses. I understand that everyone wants the day to be special but I also understand the importance and graces that flow from receiving marriage in the church. Daniel and Deni understand as well. They told us that the excuses were silly and it is something they have been trying hard to get rid of. We talked a little more and decided that Taylor and I would try our hardest to remove as many excuses as possible with the help of Daniel and Deni. Daniel and Deni were going to talk to the community and explain that since everyone would be getting married on the feast of the town's Patron Saint we could have one large fiesta for everyone. That way everyone could split the cost of the fiesta and Taylor and I would supply the cake. We told Daniel and Deni we would supply the rings. We also said that the clothes do not have to be extravagant but white. But first we asked Daniel and Deni if they would like to be the example for the town. Daniel and Deni received matrimony in the church years ago but they did not have any rings. We told them we would give them rings if they would renew their vows in front of the whole community for their 25th anniversary. Needless to say they were ecstatic and quickly agreed. Taylor and I set to work organizing the day and trying to get rings.

Blessing of the rings

I emailed two of my awesome friends back in Wisconsin for some help. They were able to find some rings at an amazing price and purchased a bunch for us to have. Praise God that these amazing friends were coming to build the church in Nuevo Chimbote so we didn't have to ship them. Once I explained to them about the marriage situation here they also went searching for wedding clothes unbeknownst to me. When they arrived not only did we have beautiful rings but a suitcase of white shirts, skirts, shoes, and dresses for us to lend to people for their wedding.

Daniel placing the wedding ring on Deni's hand for the first time.

Taylor spoke with Padre Paco to see if we could have their wedding vows renewed while Bishop Demetrio was visiting from Cordóba Spain. He was very excited and agreed. We all thought that since the bishop was visiting more people would be at mass to see them renew their vows. This would help us when we would go door to door asking for people to be married in the church. 

On Wednesday Daniel and Deni renewed their vows in front of our amazing friends and a packed church for the bishop. Over the next few weeks we will be going door to door with Daniel and Deni seeking people who want to receive marriage in the church.

 Please pray for Daniel and Deni that they may continue to be God's example for their community. Please pray that from their example more people will come into the church. Please pray for our amazing friends from Holy Family Parish Brillion WI who will start heading home tomorrow.

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