Wednesday, 18th Dec 2013, was a rather momentous date for Sri Lanka. It marked the first ecclesial wedding and marriage in the Lord: bro Naleen Fernando (Negombo) to sis Julie Jennings(Canada).
Naleen & Julie’s romance began on the bus coming home from the Youth Conference in July this year. Five months later they are now married and away on their honeymoon! Rather speedy, especially for a cross cultural alliance, but we trust that faith, hope & love will provide a foundation on which to build a strong marriage.
At 4pm yesterday (scheduled start time) only a quarter of the expected guests were there … but no matter, everything wasn’t quite ready so the extra time allowed final arrangements to be made. Come 4.30pm the cry went out, the bride had made herself ready and the ceremony began. Lovely looking Julie came down the red carpet on bro Tim Galbraith’s arm to stand beside her adoring Naleen (also arrayed in white) under an archway of red and white flowers. All very beautiful indeed.
They had asked bro Tim Moore from Perth to conduct the ceremony, and he did an excellent job – creating what we hope will be an encouraging precedent for others in Sri Lanka. Bro Karl Baloch also gave a short talk as part of the service.
By the end of the ceremony, all the guests had arrived and could join in the celebratory meal which followed.
The venue: ‘White Palace Banquet Hall’, situated in Kurana (5 mins from Negombo). It is right on the edge of the lagoon and a glorious sunset provided a magnificent backdrop for their wedding pics.
It was heart warming to see all the ecclesial members turning out in their finery and experiencing such a happy occasion together. We are very grateful that N&J chose to be married here rather than overseas, giving the local family in Christ the opportunity to share in their happiness and to build memories that we pray will bind them all together in the love of Jesus.
We pray for God’s rich blessing on the newly weds as they begin life together. Their plan is to settle in Canada next year (Feb, God Willing), but that will be dependent on Naleen receiving his residency visa by then. We will be very sorry to see them go, but wish them every happiness as heirs together of the grace of Life.
With love in our Lord Jesus,