Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Twice the Bride in One Week

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A few weeks ago, Glenn and I found ourselves sitting across the table, at a fellowship meal, from two young adults from Kenya, Africa, who’d been visiting our services.  Sister Eileen was the one who had made sure these visitors had everything needed, she’d obtained their contact information, made sure they met other Christians and always had a place beside her to sit. She’s always like that to everyone and I love her for that. Elvis and Caroline came to love and trust her. 

In our conversation with them that day, Glenn and I learned that they were yet unmarried, had come together from Kenya for nursing school (for Elvis), and had come with funding from a sponsor in Kenya. This donor, however,  had recently died and the funding for their living had been discontinued. We also learned that they ware not members of the body of Christ. I asked them if they would study about the church with us and they agreed to do that for the next several weeks, during the Bible class hour. 

But something wonderful happened and I got involved in another study during that same hour. Glenn studied with Elvis and Caroline each week and they had great questions. Each week they sat in worship with Mrs. Eileen and one Sunday last month they were both baptized into Christ. Four days later, they were married in a sweet ceremony, surrounded by Mrs. Eileen, Mrs. Debbie, Glenn and me, and a few other Christian couples. Kat bought a cake and some flowers and fruit and we had a tiny little reception in room 119. Kathryn made pictures and James and Jessica took them to dinner after the wedding. It was a huge wedding dinner at Rosies’s  and almost everyone at the wedding ended up at that table. The best day of their lives was just prior to the second-best day. They fully committed to Christ and, four days later, they fully committed to each other. The new bride (and groom) became a part of the wonderful bride of Christ almost simultaneously! 

I saw Elvis sitting down and filling out employment papers with one of our good brethren on Sunday night in another classroom. I guess, as they walk through the building, they must think “This is the room where we learned truth.”…”This is the room where we put on Christ,” …’Here’s the place where we were married,”…”Here’s our reception ‘hall’,”…”And here is where Elvis gained summer employment, to fund his education.” I love the synergy. 

Most of all, I love the Lord. He could have just told us how to individually respond to His will and how to make it to heaven in a path of solitude. But in His great wisdom, he gave us the church: the body, the family, the house of God, the kingdom. It’s a wonderful worldwide affiliate of obedient believers and it’s the wellspring of encouragement, connection and fellowship for every family member. It is a foundational belonging that the Christian experiences wherever she finds the church of Jesus. In short, the church is His wisdom magnified in our everyday lives. 

Here’s Elvis and Caroline on their wedding night. I know the readers of this blog and I know some of you will want to write them a note of welcoming encouragement. Caroline and Elvis gave me permission to introduce them to you. Caroline will love having a connection to some sisters in other congregations and areas. You can write them here. Let’s say a big “The churches of Christ salute you!” to Elvis and Caroline.

Elvis and Caroline 

℅ West Huntsville church of Christ

1509 Old Monrovia Road NW

Huntsville, AL. 35806

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