Connie Norman
Connie Norman

Posts Tagged ‘Ethiopian Evangelical Church’

Melkam Genna or Merry Christmas 2012

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

An Ethiopian Christmas card.

January 7 is Ethiopian Christmas.  We ventured to The Ethiopian Evangelical Church in Aurora, Colorado to celebrate.  My family had an amazing time.  This year we went down with a Wyoming contingent, we were three families that celebrated Genna (Christmas), from the Cowboy State.  My husband and I very much want to teach Vander about Ethiopian cultures, but we are at a huge disadvantage living in Wyoming.  I am so thankful for The Ethiopian Evangelical Church and Pastor Ermias he is so generous and cares for our children.  I am so pleased that Vander gets to be around many families that look like us. 

Vander and Mihretu enjoying their Doro Wat.

We ate delicious Doro Wat, a spicy chicken stew and Injera, a sourdough pancake that is like a giant crepe, with Ethiopian coffee.  Then we played games, the church set up tons of stations with Ethiopian games for the kids.  We didn’t make it to very many, Vander loved every game he played and didn’t want to leave each game to try another one. 

Vander learning how to eat Ethiopian style.

One of the games Vander played is called Quileblebosh.  The concept of the game is like Jacks, but with stones.  I was harder than it looked because in Jacks you catch the ball after the bounce, in the game you throw a stone and try to pick up five pebbles. 

Football! (Soccer!) The Ethiopian past time!

Learning to play Suzy 123!

The next game Vander played was Suzy 123, it is a version of Chinese Jump rope.  And it is also known as bladder in Kenya. 

Suzy 123

Mehareben - Ethiopian Duck, Duck, Goose!

The last game Vander played was Mehareben which is an Ethiopian version of Duck, Duck, Goose.  The way Ethiopians play, they say the verse, “Mehareben yayachu?” Have you seen my hanky?  And the seated children reply, “Alayenim.” We haven’t seen it.  The child with the hanky drops it behind someone who is seated, then that person becomes “it” and tries to catch the hanky dropper, who tries to get in their seat before they are caught.  We could not pull Vander way from this game to try any others.  They had nine other games to go to, plus hair braiding.  Hopefully next year we will be able to experience a few more. 


Vander & Mihretu learning how to dance Ethiopian style!

Ethiopians follow a different calendar than we do in the U.S.  They follow the Ge’ez or Julian calendar, which Christmas is January 7.  Several other countries that also follow the Julian calendar are Russia, Ukraine, Serbia, The Republic of Macedonia and the Republic of Moldova.

Melkam Gena or Merry Christmas!

Monday, January 10th, 2011

 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)