Sophie and Edouard are from the Democratic Republic of Congo in the heart of Africa. They grew up in the same area but their parents and grandparents were not from the same village so their cultures and upbringing were very different.
When Sophie met Edouard she knew there was something special about him but she kept her feelings to herself at first. It wouldn’t have been appropriate to pursue him then anyway since they met in the most unlikely of ways. The first time they ever saw each other was at a funeral! They had a mutual friend who lost his mom and so they actually met each other at the burial ceremony. The Lord works in mysterious ways.
As they talked in a large group Sophie connected with Edouard and hoped that maybe he felt the same thing she did. Afterwards there were more opportunities to hang out and over time there was no doubt that they were falling in love. Once their feelings were out in the open it wasn’t long before they knew that they wanted to share the rest of their lives together as one.
In previous generations not long ago the Congolese people were married through the families arrangements but now they can marry for love and at 21 years old Edouard and Sophie were in love! Marriage was on the horizon.
There are lots of varied customs in Africa when it comes to the marriage engagement but for Sophie’s culture when the couple is ready to get married the young man has to come and ask the bride’s father for his daughter’s hand in marriage much like the tradition in the US but a little different. Sophie explains “In my culture, the young man has to come ask the hand to her father and he doesn’t come alone. He is always with his father or uncle and some members of his family. After that comes the “customary marriage ” when the man and all his family members, friends and community brings all the things he had been asked for. Then the lady’s family prepare a special meal for the other family. Generally, it is a big party before the civil and religious wedding”
So it was a family affair when Edouard asked Sophie’s father for his blessing. Edouard made a special occasion out of the proposal and of course Sophie said YES!
After the blessing was granted and the engagement was official all the women in the family began to plan the traditional customary meal. Except there was one little problem.
Sophie doesn’t like to kill hens.
This might seem like a strange conundrum to have if you are in America, but for the Congolese bride, it mattered. Sophie said
“In our culture, it’s so important to know how to cook and do special meals before we get married. For instance when you receive a very important person for dinner, you have to kill and cook a hen to show respect. So we learn it at home.
I can do it because I used to do it for my father but I was not always comfortable with it and my mom knew that I never wanted to do that. When I was killing the chicken myself I was not able to eat it! If it was someone else then I could eat.”
Thankfully Sophie had family members including her mother who stepped in to kill the chicken for Edouard’s family and it all worked out.
On May 6th 2017 when Sophie was just 22 years old she walked down the aisle and married the love of her life.
They had the civil and religious wedding on the same day with a huge party afterward.
“The wedding was great! Lots of joy! Lots of music, and singing, and dancing” Sophie shares the occasion with fond memories.
The treasured photos show just how beautiful and festive the ceremony was. Sophie who has been blessed with the voice of an angel was a part of the church choir and she was the children’s choir leader.
All of the people who had been impacted by Edouard and Sophie’s ministry showed up to participate and support the lovely couple. It was a day they will remember forever.
Only two month after the wedding Sophie and Eudard moved to the US. It was a big shock at first. There have been so many changes and adjustments since they came to the states only 7 months ago but God has been faithful. They have a precious baby boy that brings so much joy and happiness to their lives.
Edouard is studying at a local university and they have great expectations for the future because they know that God has a plan and it goes above and beyond anything they can ask or imagine.