Connie Norman
Connie Norman

Melkam Gena or Merry Christmas!

 Melkam Gena

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Ethiopians celebrate “Gena” Christmas on January 7.  We drove down Saturday to Aurora, Colorado, to celebrate Gena at the Ethiopian Evangelical Church.  Pastor Ermias and Alemeshet Teklyoneis, the Director and Founder of Abenezer Children’s Home in Gebre Guracha, Ethiopia, invited American/Ethiopian Adoptive Families in the Denver Area to celebrate Gena.

It was an incredible evening!  We so humbled, and honored and left speechless by the incredible night.  We ate amazing Ethiopian food, played wonderful traditional games, made great connections with other adoptive families, and heard many words of thanks for adopting the children.  At the end of the night we were sent home with gifts from Ethiopia.  This was not just a few gifts around 250 people attended the Gena Celebration. 

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This is a marble game.  I didn’t write down the name or take a picture of the station like I did for the rock game Qeleblebosh.  The objective of the marble game is you shoot the marbles down and try to knock out the other marbles that are lined up on the other side.  If you knock out certain marbles you get all the marbles in the group. 

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Qeleblebosh is a traditional game mostly played by girls in the Ethiopia.  It is like Jacks, but you use rocks instead.  It will teach them how to be disciplined, self-controled, focused in the game as well as social skills.   It teaches the kids how to count numbers. 

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Street Hockey, a lot of the boys were in traditional Ethiopian clothing. 

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Ethiopian Coffee!!!

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Thank you Pastor Ermias and your entire church community. Your generosity was overwhelming.  We were THRILLED with all the games, we had SO much fun! We appreciate your kindness and generosity!

For more information on Ethiopia and the insurmountable  amount of orphaned children read; There is NO Me Without You by Melissa Faye Green.  It is a powerful and informative bookof the terrifying story of the AIDS orphans. 


Every 15 SECONDS, another child becomes an AIDS orphan in Africa.
Every DAY 5,760 more children become orphans.
Every YEAR 2,102,400 more children become orphans (in Africa alone).
There are 143,000,000* orphans in the world today. The population of orphans theoretically makes up the 7th largest nation in the world.
Orphans in the world today spend an average of 10 years in an orphanage or foster home.
Every YEAR 14,050,000 children grow up as orphans and AGE OUT of the system.
Every DAY 38,493 children AGE OUT.
Every 2.2 SECONDS, another orphan child AGES OUT with no family to belong to and no place to call home.
Many of these children accept job offers that ultimately result in their being sold as slaves. Millions of girls are sex slaves today, simply because they were unfortunate enough to grow up as orphans.
*Reliable statistics are difficult to find, even the sources often list only estimates, and street children are rarely included. But even if these figures are exaggerated by double, it is still an unacceptable tragedy that over a Million children would still become orphans every year, and every year 7 Million children would still grow to adulthood as orphans with no one to belong to and no place to call home. They are totally vulnerable and easily fall prey to predators and slave recruiters.
(Data provided by UNICEF)

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