“When living in their home countries, many of our couples are recognized as husband and wife even though they are in common law marriages,” said Eloy Castro, pastor of Iglesia del Pacto Fuente de Vida. “However, living in this country they adopt the mores and refer to themselves as boyfriend and girlfriend and not as husband and wife as in Mexico. Therefore, I counsel them to solemnize their relationships and have it blessed by the church and their community.”
Each of the individuals took responsibility for any pain they might have caused so far in their relationships. The grooms and brides asked forgiveness of each other as they re-affirmed their love to their spouses.
The couples shared their life stories, including one that reflected a dramatic change in recent years. Sergio Cortes shared that he was a heavy drinker before becoming a Christian.
“I would encourage my wife to go to the Bible study next door in order to be by myself to drink my alcohol,” Cortes said. “I never imagined that one day they would be meeting in my home.”
His conversion also has led to reconciliation. “My wife’s adult children from a previous relationship who had never ever accepted me have asked me for forgiveness,” Cortes said. “They know that I truly love their mother. They in fact asked to be our marriage witnesses.”
Some of the people being married attend Centro Hispano de Estudios Teologicos (CHET), the Covenant’s Hispanic training center. Castro and his wife also are students, and he is a candidate to receive his Bachelor of Christian Ministry degree.
CHET President Ed Delgado officially led the service because Castro is not yet licensed. “You could almost say that the quadruple wedding might be the first CHET wedding,” he said afterwards. The wedding music was performed by CHET student Lourdes Batres and her family.
The weddings are important for the Hispanic community as well as the couples, said Castro. “We may be the largest and fastest growing majority minority of influence in the United States, but I am convinced that we are also the weakest minority. We must not continue to be so – strength must begin in the home. And I am convinced that if we have healthy marriages that are centered on an intimate healthy growing relationship with God, it will result in healthy churches and in turn healthy communities.”
CHET and El Encino Covenant Church partially sponsor the new church, which was planted by school leaders and students.