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24 Mar '12

Twenty cows

Posted by T.J. Addington in culture, friendships, marriage, relationships
We live in an amazing world where the black and white world is juxtaposed with the globalized color world. Last evening was a great example. I call it the 20 cow dinner.


Eating with friends in an amazing restaurant overlooking Hong Kong and its amazing harbor and lights I am sitting across from a friend from Kenya who has been attending our leadership meetings of ReachGlobal this week. He travels the world training church leaders. 


I told him I heard that he was getting married and he said yes. I asked when the day was and he said "When I have twenty cows" -the price he hopes to negotiate for his bride who resides in another African country. "How many do you have now?," I asked and he said "three." "How much is a cow?" I asked and he said one hundred dollars. I pulled out a hundred dollars and said now you have four. 


Others did the same and after a couple of texts back to the states we came up with all the cows he needed. He and his bride to be are ecstatic. I was now in for five cows so I informed him that I have a stake in this marriage. I will get invited to the wedding!


He told us that since he was from another country than his bride and both have Skype he suggested to his father in law to be that they negotiate the bride price over Skype. Saves the money of an extra journey. The answer was a big NO. "This is Africa and it must be done face to face by an intermediary.  Technology does not always suffice it seems.


I told him I was glad my wife did not cost me 20 cows since I didn't have that many when I got married. My wife informed me that she is worth more than 20 cows but of course that is a matter of what economy we are negotiating. I didn't really want to pursue that conversation with her since I knew it was not going to end well :).


We laughed, ate, and celebrated with him. And it was the first time I ever bought cows for a bride price.


We live in a colorful world with colorful cultures and colorful people. I am thankful for how God brings us together for friendship and ministry. Heaven is going to be an interesting place when we are all celebrating together. I like 20 cow dinners.