Friday, June 10, 2016

The Wedding Can Tho, Vietnam July 28

I spent quite awhile tonight talking to Tiffany and Tony. Tiffany is one of my favorite former students and this couple has honored me by asking if I would perform their wedding in December, giving me plenty of time to prepare! This is about a wedding I was unexpectedly part of,  from July 28, 2012.
Well, here's the big news of the day.... and maybe the trip! All this took place with the last hour. I was sitting outside as I do each evening and Nhanh asked me, I thought, if I wanted to go to the market. She had promised me before to take some pictures there- I am reluctant as they are already staring at me and I don't want to come off as disrespectful in any way. So we walk down in that direction, with Nhi on her scooter, and I see lights and a tent set up several blocks aways in the middle of the street with music playing! It was a wedding! (Actually, the wedding is in two parts with the feast tonight and the ceremony tomorrow morning.) Earlier in a sermon, I had mentioned I wanted to go to a Vietnamese wedding and she remembered. When we got there, I was taken back and I gave the camera to Nhanh and walked to the far side of the tent, which was beautifully decorated, and tried to be as unobtrusive as a tall American can be at a Vietnamese wedding. Did I mention that I was dressed in basketball shorts, running shoes, and a Wichita Collegiate School tennis t-shirt complete with a mustard stain from the hot dog I had just eaten? A young man came out and asked in good English where I was going and I told him the market. I was afraid they were offended with me standing there and Nhanh taking pictures but he was very friendly. Next, an elderly man who spoke no English came out and shook my hand and talked to the young man. They invited me into the party for a toast at one of the main tables with the groom's friends! I protested I wasn't properly dressed- NO PROBLEM! I am not exaggerating when I say I became the center of attention! The next thing I know, I'm sitting there with these groomsmen, relatives, and the bride and groom, toasting the happy couple! (Disclaimer: as a non-drinker, I did not swallow!) I shook hands all around and even the bride thanked me for coming in decent English! Then they asked me to stay and eat! I asked Nhanh and she said we needed to go so ended my adventure  but not without a picture with two absolutely cute flower girls! I just have one word to describe all this which happened so quickly and out of nowhere; WOW! Could there be any better example of the Parable of the Chief Seats which Jesus set in a wedding feast? I innocently show up and try to disappear and the next thing I know, the master of the banquet basically tells me, to quote the parable, "Friend, move up higher!" When we got home, Tom told me it's considered good luck in Vietnam if a foreigner comes to a wedding. The blessing tonight was on the foreigner.

  I'm exhausted with rejoicing, if that's possible. Pray for me as I preach tomorrow for the final time and prepare to leave. And thank the Lord for giving me a once in a lifetime opportunity tonight. In nine weeks, I'll be preaching Charlotte Berson's wedding in Houston. I'm ready right now!
God bless,
Luke 18:1
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