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Love transcends language as deaf and dumb couple wed

National
 Thomas Likhodo and Grace Wanjiru exchange vows at St Francis of Assisi Catholic Parish church – Kiti, Nakuru County. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

It was not your usual wedding ceremony. The couple did not hear guests who shouted their lungs out in congratulatory gestures.

Nor were they able to speak out in appreciation. It was their hearts and physical actions that communicated.

The couple is deaf and dumb.

Thomas Likhodo, 50, and 25-year-old Grace Wanjiru exchanged vows after a Sunday mass at St Francis of Assisi Catholic Parish church - Kiti, Nakuru County.

The colourful ceremony was presided over by Father Vincent Makoha.

At hand to ensure that the vows were properly interpreted was Sister Mary Josephine, a nun known for her efforts to champion the rights of persons with disability in Nakuru City.

Their best couple- Bethwel Kinyua and Jennifer Wanja, were also deaf and dumb.

The two tied the knot on May 28, 2023, in a similar ceremony at the same church.

The presiding priest retold a touching story of  Likhodo and Wanjiru, who first met in a market where they were buying vegetables.

According to Fr Makoha, their mode of communication- sign language made them fall in love at first sight.

 Thomas Likhodo and Grace Wanjiru kiss after exchanging vows. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

“When I asked the couple who would be their best couple, they stated that it should be people who understand sign language,” Makokha said.

Wanjiru’s mother, Mary Wanyoike, said that she never expected her daughter to get married.

“I  never expected my daughter to be married. Our family was surprised by the news that she will have a church wedding,” Wanyoike said.

The mother of three girls stated that she received a call from her firstborn daughter but thought it was just internet love, only to meet the duo who confessed their love.

She said she is proud of her daughter for her decision to ensure she lived as per the scripture.

 Her father, John Wanyoike, said she had made him proud.

“This is a blessing to us. God has been faithful. In the current world, we live in, it is different to find someone who follows the due process of officiating their union in church,” John said.

He stated that the daughter was born with a disability of being unable to talk, but with love and care, Wanjiru has grown to be a strong and beautiful woman.

 Thomas Likhodo and Grace Wanjiru tie the knot. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

He appreciated the efforts made by the church by catering to the union.

Elijah Likhodo stated that his brother was born normal, just like any other child, but at seven, he became sick and was unable to speak again.

He said as a family, they appreciated the church's efforts in ensuring the union was successful.

Magaret Ngotie said the wedding was a blessing and prayed that the union be blessed with children.

“We pray that God will bless the union by giving them children. We will support them by guiding them,” she said.

Sister Josephine said she prepared the couple for church marriage by ensuring they got proper counselling and understanding of marriage.

“I have known them since last year in July,” Josephine said. 

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