Feature

Wedding Music

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When asked what put her on the road to Christ, Mariama answered, “It was the music.” On her way to market one day, she passed a church and heard singing. “My prayer was to have that kind of music at my wedding someday.” At the time, it seemed silly, since she practiced another religion. Because her family was poor, she would be married to the man who paid the most money. But the tune lingered in her memory.

It wasn’t long before Mariama was given in marriage to a man who already had two wives. Her situation became more difficult when, after two years, she had not yet given her husband a child. Her family began to panic because it might mean trouble for them. Witch doctors were consulted; sacrifices were made but still no child.

One day, Mariama’s mother told her about a Christian conference in Bobo-Dioulasso where believers would gather for three days to fast and pray. Though not a Christian, Mariama’s mother encouraged her to attend, telling Mariama that she would be able to have a baby if the Christians prayed for her.

At the conference, Mariama thoroughly enjoyed the singing and heard about Jesus for the first time. She shared her difficult situation with the women counselors, who prayed for her. God answered, and Mariama soon conceived. But that didn’t solve her problems. Even after she gave birth to a son, she continued to be treated poorly and often ran away to her mother’s house. Mariama prayed for God to help her.

Eventually her husband became ill and died. Mariama returned to live in her mother’s courtyard and discovered that some Christians in the village were holding weekly prayer meetings in their yard. She not only began attending the gatherings but also started walking several miles to church with her new friends.

One Sunday Mariama realized she was a sinner and asked Jesus Christ to be her Savior. She was soon baptized and experienced real happiness for the first time. She returned to school, took classes in development and received funds to use in village projects. Then, a young man in her church asked Mariama to marry him. There came a day when the prayer she said as a young woman was answered—she had Christian music at her wedding.

Mariama and her husband are active in the Alliance church in the village of Soumousso; they also serve in a church plant in their own village of Wara. Alliance international workers were instrumental in starting Sunday schools in several villages in this area of Burkina Faso. They helped with the training of pastors and their wives, providing them with needed tools for telling the gospel story.

I met Mariama and her husband when I held a women’s seminar in Soumousso. Mariama sat up front and took in every word. After a while, men started to filter into the seminar, and Mariama’s husband listened as attentively as she did. I was thrilled to hear their story and to know that God heard the prayers of a young woman who just wanted to have Christian music at her wedding.

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