8 November 2018

Kenya: Church Never Liked My Bride, Groom Says on Aborted Wedding

Apostle Jesse Karanja refused to officiate the wedding because the couple had failed to adhere to the church's standards, including taking medical tests.

The Nakuru man whose wedding was cancelled at the last minute has spoken out for the first time on the bad blood and tell-tale signs that he ignored, but which led to the abortive ceremony.

Paul Waithaka, a high school teacher and an translator at Mizpah House of Prayer, and Joyce Wanjiru were set to wed last Saturday. But Apostle Jesse Karanja refused to officiate the wedding because the couple had failed to adhere to the church's standards, including taking medical tests.

Paul now says the abortive wedding was a culmination of simmering dislike of his fiancé by the membership of the church. He never bothered to address it because he could never point to a possible cause for the sour relations.

'NEVER ACCEPTED'

"We had battles from the onset with Mizpah that is why we didn't have a pre-wedding there. Joyce was never accepted from the day they knew of our wedding and unfortunately I did not know the extent of the battles; that is why we had chosen Mizpah as our venue and officiating church. But I believe there is a reason why things happened that way," Paul told Nairobi News in an exclusive.

The couple held two pre-weddings to raise funds for the ceremony. The first was held in Nairobi, where Joyce works and was attended by her friends, colleagues and church-mates. The second one was held in Njoro where Paul's parents live. They did not host any pre-wedding at the church.

The couple has not yet spoken to Apostle Jesse Karanja since the embarrassing scenes at the church last Saturday, neither has any church official reached out to them.

"I have not spoken to the man of God as he too has gone through a lot after Kenyans started abusing him. You see, Kenyans need to learn not to insult people despite what they do; yes we are angry but that does not mean we hurl insults. We have however been speaking to other pastors who are guiding us and praying with us," he said.

Paul had been Apostle Karanja's translator for years. He has lost count on the number of sermons he has translated for the reverend whom he always looked up to.

He told Nairobi News that the cancellation of the wedding left him and his fiance emotionally crushed.

'WHY GOD, WHY?'

"We kept asking, why us and why God was letting this happen, but now we have managed to pick the pieces and we are now very sober as God has really been good to us.

"We are not intending to sue anyone, somethings are better left to God as it reaches a time when you let the best justice by God take charge and you see, God's justice comes out sweeter," Paul said.

The couple met in February 3, 2017 in Nakuru town, an encounter that Paul terms as a divine connection.

"I had been praying for a promotion at work and for a wife and so I first saw Joyce at the roundabout and moments later we met at the matatu stage and after we started talking. I realized God had led us to each other.

"She had been coming to Mizpah once or twice every month so the members knew her and my parents loved her from the first day. I'm confident this relationship was ordained by God and that we shall overcome these challenges," Paul said.

He teaches Biology and Agriculture at Jomo Kenyatta Girls' High School in Bahati. He had invited some of his students and had even planned to take some cake to his Form Four candidates.

PAY ALL DEBTS

The couple has endeavoured to pay all debts accrued at the abortive wedding.

"We had to pay every supplier to the last coin as we never wanted to hear any complaints of how we have been unable to pay suppliers.

"We had our own savings and the money we were given by friends during the Nairobi and Njoro pre-weddings, so after paying all service providers we were left with nothing. The cake I had set aside for the candidates has since expired," he added.

Both sets of parents have been supportive, with extended family members urging them to plan for another wedding.

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