It’s not unheard of for discipleship school outreach teams to participate in mass evangelism. Mass weddings, however, might be a first. That’s what one of Port YWAM’s Discipleship Training School outreach teams was able to pull off this past spring in Haiti. The team was co-led by the husband-wife duo of Philipson and Kelsea Georges as well as Ikaika Aipia. They said that before they would allow couples to participate in the wedding ceremonies — which were performed at no expense to the couples — they were required to go through a relationship-counselling seminar conducted by the team. Kelsea Georges said the seminars helped lay a foundation for healthy families.
“They need it. They’ve lived their whole lives without really having training in what is a good family, per se, because most of them have broken families and so I think it would be really cool if we could just have a constant repetition of encouraging family, teaching them how to have a good family,” said Georges, 23, of Colorado.
Philipson Georges said the kind of instruction his team brought for the seminars is key to sparking a social revolution in Haiti.
“If you have the family understand themselves and unify, then you will begin to see an area unified, a city unified, a state unified — you will see an entire country unified and understand the value of each person because a dad and a mom understand the value of their children and they teach it to their children,” said Georges, 29, of Haiti. “Then they will understand the value of everybody else and begin to understand the value of a country.”
The seminars and weddings were conducted in five different locations in Haiti with the assistance of local pastors and churches. Prior to leaving Kona for outreach, the team collected donated wedding dresses and suits for couples who could not afford them. A total of 120 people were married during the mass ceremonies. Philipson Georges said the couples quickly recognized the value of the relationship training.
“After the marriage seminars, people would come up to us and say ‘I did what you guys taught us in the marriage seminar and it works. My wife is happy. I kiss my wife and woke up this morning and asked her how she slept last night’ and they’re so happy and excited,” Georges said.
Kelsea Georges said members of the communities where the weddings took place found the events uplifting.
“We had one guy come up to us in one of the towns — he didn’t even get married — who said ‘Thank you so much for coming and doing this in our community. It has really changed our community,” Georges said.