Thursday, September 20, 2012

Merapelo

Maria is 20 years old and she and her mother hosts our bible study on Saturdays at their house. Below is a picture of Maria with her mother, Mma Josephine, back in November 2011 when she was pregnant with her baby girl, Jennifer. Jennifer was born in December 2012 and since then, Maria’s mother became very ill. Doctor’s could never really pinpoint what was wrong and she was in and out of the hospital the past few months. This past Sunday (September 16), Mma Josephine passed away. Maria is now left to raise Jennifer on her own, so please be in prayer for her.

Funerals here are conducted a little differently than in the States. For an entire week they hold prayers (also called a Merapelo) every evening at the home of the deceased where tea and bread are served after each service. Brent was able to share the gospel on Tuesday night with a crowd of about 100 people. At the end of the week usually on Saturday or Sunday morning (about 6am), they then have a viewing of the body and will take her to be buried at a cemetary. A cow is always killed for the funeral day and everyone comes back to the deceased home to eat together. Maria’s situation has been very difficult. The elders in her family (the aunts and uncles) have not been supportive to help her so there has not been money to have tea/bread after each prayer service. They are now trying to raise enough money to purchase a cow for the funeral which cost about 3000 pula (about $500).

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Above: Mma Josephine and Maria

Below: Maria with her baby, Jennifer

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Mma Josephine’s merapelo
Here is a short clip during the merapelo. Normally the women sit on one side and the men on the other. Ladies have to wear a scarf and a wrap to go over their arms and men have to wear a jacket of some sort.

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