Saviors provide wedding
The former Karen Lutz admitted on Sunday to being a bit skeptical when she first started dating Maluk Ayom, who became her husband on Saturday.
He just seemed to good to be true, said Lutz, relaxing at home with her new husband and his son, Galaxia, on the morning after a dream wedding that they could never have pulled off on their own.
Her skepticism proved unfounded and, earlier this year, the future couple, Maluk and Karen Ayom, became engaged after a five-year romance.
They had not even started their wedding plans when they learned about and entered a contest from a Toronto-based organization, the Wedding Saviours, that arranges and covers the costs for deserving couples.
In a statement released early last week, Wedding Saviours founder Brenda Holdsworth announced that Lutz and Ayom had won the contest and would be wed at the Chalet in Westerner Park on Saturday, courtesy of a long list of donors and organized by local wedding planner, Jennifer Lightle.
Holdsworth said Lutz and Ayom were selected because they have both experienced and overcome series of hardships.
Raised on a farm near Innisfail, Lutz was diagnosed with a cranial clot that threatened her life.
Her father, Reynie, died a year an a half ago from a heart attack and her mother, Barbara, is struggling with Alzheimer’s disease.
Ayom had immigrated to Canada from Southern Sudan via Cuba in 1998 after fleeing his home only to be forcibly recruited as a child soldier.
Secluded in the Chalet kitchen with his wedding party before the ceremony, Ayom said he felt grateful for his new family and the opportunities he has found here.
Where some people may complain that the sun burns, a thankful person feels grateful for its warmth, said Ayom.
It would have taken him and Karen years of planning to put together such an elegant ceremony on their own, he said.
“I’m thankful for the team that put it together, the person that founded the organization, and, in general, I’m thankful for being in Canada and being in Alberta and how everyone has helped. When you come from a different place and make a family and make friends, it’s unbelievable. We could talk all day about it,” he said.