This blog is not about a movie with the similar title. It is about the weddings and funerals we have on our ‘plate’ right now.
In Kenya, weddings are a community project. So are funerals. In a church family, it means that everyone is involved in planning, participating, traveling, and also in giving. Weddings and funerals both cost a lot of money. Most people do NOT have an insurance package for such events, or a savings account to draw from, or even a hefty income that can be channeled toward the expenses. So everyone pitches in with contributions and donations.
Part of me does not at all like the fact that each of these events comes along with its own fundraising campaign. It becomes tiresome and draining. But that is a very western, individualistic way of thinking.
The differences around how these events are handled would be as good of a study as any other on the stark cultural contrasts between these two worlds to which I belong (both at the same time?)
But we’re not doing a cultural study now — writing about African funeral traditions would require a whole book. Yet as I write, DOVE Nairobi will have 3 weddings within 2 months. On the side of funerals, we lost our member Mary Wanjiru to a short illness late in March. This week alone, five congregants have lost a close family member (moms, dads, brothers-in-law). That includes our own brother-in-law.
So needless to say, we are full to overflowing with grieving, celebrating, planning and . . . fund raising!! While it feels like such a strain – too much to handle – it is also a time when the meaning of family, of community, of belonging to one another and of sharing one another’s joys as well as burdens, becomes powerfully real.
I wonder what all that looked like in Acts Chapter 2 days.