I hope you don’t feel tricked or misled – this time it’s not MY story, but it’s a very sweet story indeed and it also gives you an idea of how Togolese people get married… with a little help from Mercy Ships. Enjoy! :)
BTW, they got married at the same place as we did 2 weeks ago...
“Once upon a time in Togo, there lived an elementary school teacher named Win'n. He was a fine, handsome young man … but he was born with webbing between the ring finger and the pinkie finger on his left hand.
In 2007, Win'n was invited to a friend's birthday party. One of the guests immediately caught his attention – a lovely young lady named Aicha. He glanced at her, and she glanced at him. He asked if he could drive her home. She refused. Because he wasn't faint of heart, he asked her again. She relented a little, saying maybe he could drop her off at the end of her street. He drove her home, and then courageously asked for her phone number so he could call her on Sunday.
“It’s my mother’s phone. I can't give you the number,” she responded. Finally, he asked if he could take her out on a date.
“My mother won't allow me out,” she told him. “If you want, I'll go and ask your mother,” he said. But she didn't want him to do that at all. Near exasperation, he said, “If you don't like my personality, tell me.”
She was silent – a very good sign.
It was time for the school year to begin, and Win'n was assigned to teach at a new school. When he showed up for the first day of school there was Aicha, in charge of the student food concession. Win'n was overjoyed! Now, he could have lunch with Aicha every day!
After more than two years, the headmaster called him. “You have been together with this girl for a long time. It is my wish that you would make her your wife. It was time to meet Aicha's mother.
A nervous Win'n went to Aicha's house at the appointed time. He was invited to sit in a chair, while Aicha sat on the floor at her mother's feet. Aicha's mother was a widow who wanted her daughter to be married properly, in the traditional manner.
His aunts then said, “Don't worry. We come with good news. There's a sunflower in your home. Our nephew wants to pick the flower, but he wants to ask your permission.”
The bride's aunts replied, “The flower has a price.”
Then Win'n's aunts produced the suitcase, and the bride's aunt checked to see that it contained all of the requested items. Now, four young ladies, including Aicha, lined up. As each one passed by, the bride's aunt asked, “Do you recognize the flower? Is it this one?”
Win'n received a free surgery and post-operative care. During one check-up, Nurse Alainie Costas discovered he was engaged. “When are you getting married?” she asked.
“As soon as my fingers are officially separated,” he answered.
On August 7, Aicha slipped a gold wedding band on Win'n's ring finger. What a wonderful wedding present from Mercy Ships!" (by a ship writer)