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Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Celebration, and commiseration.

Today, my wife and I celebrate yet another wedding aniversary.  :-)  It was forty-two years ago that we stood, side-by-side, in front of the Rev. George B.Duncan, taking the vows that allowed him to pronounce us "husband and wife".  (I'll not bore readers with my standard comment about "10 years of happy marriage - the rest have been miserable."  Ooops, I just have!!). 

Seriously, I could not have wished for a better wife.  We've been through a lot, together - highs and lows; good times, and bad; sickness, and health; poorer by the standards of many in the affluent west - but much richer than many in the developing world.  We've been blessed with two wonderful daughters.  We may have lost something of that early "being in love" feeling (although not too much!), but we love each other more deeply now than ever before.  In a culture in which marriage is currently under attack, and in which so many marriages fail after a few years - or even a few months - we are grateful that we are still together, and happy with each other's company.

Forty-two years!  How different from the experience of Damaris Kioko, from Kenya.  At the end of April, this year, she was married to Pastor Jackson Kioko.  Pastor Jackson was planning to hold a joint mission, with another pastor, in Mombasa City, when a crowd gathered and accused them of being thieves.  This Muslim mob then set the two men on fire, burning them to death.  This was just one week after Jackson and Damaris had been pronounced husband and wife.

"That Monday (May 7th) was his first day back to work, after the wedding," Damaris told a worker from Open Doors (see my favourite links), "and, as usual, he set out on an evangelism mission.  We parted happily, and I did not imagine that I would never see him again."

As I celebrate, and appreciate, the forty-two years that I have spent with my wife; and as I look forward to many more (DV); I remember those who, like Damaris, have such a possibility cruelly dashed by those whose currency is damage, destruction, devastation, and death.  Please join with me in that remembrance.  If you would like to write to Damaris, in order to encourage her, you may do so by going to

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