February 14, 2013

A Valentines Day Wedding

Michael and Viviana aren't your typical love story.  He's been all over the world as a missionary, working with indigenous people groups in remote places, abandoned children in orphanages, handicapped folks who need wheelchairs but only have PVC pipe--you name it.  He's a jump-in-there-and-get-things-done kind of guy.  And he told us a few years back that he'd begun to pray for his wife and felt like God was going to bring her into his life.

He moved several places working with different groups before landing in the town where he'd lay eyes on this cutie pie we call Vivi.  She's kind and sweet and laid back, a great complement to his high energy level.  She's also very guapa, as we say here, meaning she's not a lazy gal.  This is very important when looking for a missionary wife, obviously (someone should have told Ken that!!)  We fell in love with her right off, so it was no surprise that Michael wanted to make her his other half.

Today they completed the first part of the process that makes them no longer two, but one. They will have their church ceremony in about a week, signifying that they are then married before God AND before man.  Today they had the civil ceremony in front of the equivalent of the Justice of the Peace.  They honored us by asking us to be their official witnesses, which means we got to sign the marriage contract and tell all our pertinent data to the judge, so he could read it out as part of the ceremony.

It went a little sumpin' like this:

JUDGE:  "Michael," (it came out a bit more like Michelle--the judge didn't get the memo on English pronunciation) "are you free to marry?"

MICHAEL:  "Yes."

JUDGE: "Do you want Viviana to be your wife?"

MICHAEL:  "Yes."

 (Judge repeats for Viviana, who replies yes both times, as well.)

JUDGE:  "Okay, I declare you married.  Let me read the official paper.  On February 14, 2013, Michael, who is a North American, .... years old, single, working, living in Paraguay, passport number ...., who is the son of ..... and ..... who were born in ..... who live in .... and work as ..... told me he is free to marry.  I asked him if wanted to marry Viviana, and he said yes.  Viviana, who is Paraguayan, .... years old, single, working, living in Paraguay, id number ...., is the daughter of ..... and ..... who were born in .... and live in .... and work as .... and have identity number .... told me she is free to marry.  I asked her if she wanted to marry Michael and she said yes.  Ken Hagerman, born in the USA, married, working as a missionary, with id number .... witnessed it.  Crystal Hagerman, ......."  You get it.  Lots of legal talk.  

Then it was done!  We snapped a photo and went out for pizza with the new couple.  

God bless Michael and Viviana as they learn to be a missionary family now, and as they set a good example of a Godly marriage to those in their community.

What a way to spend Valentines Day, right?!  How was yours?

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