Gadson and Rebeka Gachigi (1953) - “Now they are at the marriage supper of the Lamb!”
Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear… Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb! Revelation 19:7-8a, 9b
This young Christian couple lived in Njumbi, Kenya, at the time when the Mau Mau guerrillas were resisting British rule in the country. The Mau Mau hated the British and Christianity and wanted everyone to take a special oath of allegiance to them. Many Christians refused to do this because it meant swearing an ultimate allegiance other than to Christ, and also required grotesque actions, including digging up corpses and eating their putrefied flesh, to seal the pledge.
Gadson and Rebeka were kind to the Mau Mau but would not take their oath. Rebeka was a school teacher and Gadson was a carpenter and church leader. They had a one-year-old son, Timothy, and were expecting another child. One night in January 1953, Mau Mau fighters broke into their home while they were sleeping. They strangled the couple but left their child, before killing the sub-chief, his family and Gadson’s Christian friend Nathaniel. Gadson’s parents went to the home in the morning and found the baby screaming and Gadson and Rebeka dead.
Despite their shocking and untimely deaths, the funeral was not sombre but joyful. Preacher Heshbon Mwangi gave an uplifting sermon, saying that the “young couple were married here in this old church of Njumbi. Now they are at the marriage supper of the Lamb!”
Lord, we praise you; you are leading us to life’s summit and giving us the exhilaration of victory over ourselves, over sin and death; victory for ourselves and all mankind.
Alan Gaunt (born 1935)
Dr Patrick Sookhdeo is the International Director of Barnabas Fund and the Executive Director of the Oxford Centre for Religion and Public Life
Photo by Beatriz Pérez Moya on Unsplash
Originally appeared on Isaac Publishing