This week the Mennonite Hostel in Ouagadougou is hosting a seminar on marriage. It started last Saturday and will end next Sunday, in total including 24 hours of teaching and discussion time. Marriage is an important and challenging issue for young people in the church in Burkina Faso. If in the West marriage is a lifestyle choice, here marriage and children are an assumed stage in life to the point of being required of everyone. The issue is not one of whether or not to marry but of when to marry and to whom.
Young people see examples of conflictual marriages and divorce, and they fear that this will happen to them. We hope that this seminar will help them prepare for marriage and give them additional ways to think about the marriage relationship. The instructor has done a lot of teaching and counseling in this context and uses practical examples, encourages questions, and includes participant discussion in his teaching strategy. We’re happy to see this opportunity for exploration and learning for the hostel residents.