Jepta joy in holiday warmup

The Lobat jepta showed their version of the “Morning Star” vessel as they performed at Laura Protestant Church last Sunday for Gospel Day. The money and gifts are donated to the church by the jepta. This was one of many jepta performances Sunday. Photo: Eve Burns.

Those of you that didn’t spend your Gospel Day at Laura missed out. Laura Protestant Church celebrated its 163rd Gospel Day last Sunday. The different Gospel Day Jepta reenacted through skits how the Gospel was brought in or they performed a biit and a song that is related to how Gospel was first arrived in the Marshall Islands.

History has it that usually when ships stopped in the Marshall Islands prior to arrival of the first Christian missionaries, they were destroyed and the sailors killed by Marshall Islanders. But when the Morning Star arrived in 1857 to bring Gospel the Irooj invited them in. It was said that he had a dream and that God spoke to him.

But here is what you didn’t know about Gospel Day in Laura: it’s better than the Olympic games, the competitive spirit is so high it gets everyone excited.
It’s always which Jepta brings in the best dances, songs, and a little (or big) boat that represents the Morning Star. Like the Olympics, Gospel Day is the first heat, Jabbath in Al is the second heat and Christmas Day is the final. This is when the Jeptas go all out. The best one will be the one that all Jeptas are going to try to beat next year.
This is the time of the year where you can “dis” a Jepta in church and everyone just laughs it off.

This year Gospel Day was the same as the previous years. Jeptas got the audience in the groove and dancing along. Some women in the audience watching little boys dancing beautifully get out onto the floor to grab the boy, pulling him out of the dance line and carrying him in a different direction. Meanwhile, members from the the Jepta try to rescue their member, chasing each other in church, sparking more laughter.
Note that once you set foot in Laura for Gospel Day, you will not want to go home till the very last Jepta. Also, you don’t need to leave for the stores because you want to eat sweets. Those are already thrown around in the church for you to grab and eat.


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