Celebrating the Ethiopian New YearRich Stigall
Ethiopia follows a different calendar than the calendar used by North America and Europe. Ethiopian New Year is on 11th September, and it is a big holiday celebration throughout the entire country. Homes are decorated inside and out to mark the special day.
The Father’s House in Hossana, Ethiopia, is a ministry of one of the largest Ethiopian Kale Hiwot Churches (KHC). The congregation has planted more than nine churches in their wider community, hosts a Compassion International Child Development Center project for poor children from functional families, is home to many choirs, and regularly hosts overnight prayer services.
Yet, the church still recognized that there were totally abandoned children in their community who didn’t even qualify for a Compassion, child-sponsorship project. So, the Hossana KHC became the first pilot site in Ethiopia for the Father’s House.
For the New Year celebration this year, one of the youth choirs at the church spent the day playing with the children, leading them in songs, shared a meal with them, and donated bright red t-shirts for the kids. The church had also collected used clothing and let the children “go shopping” for “new” clothes.
Families mark holidays with special observances, and the Moms at the Father’s House decorated their homes in traditional Ethiopian fashion the church members organized typical activities for the children of The Father’s House…so the children know they are in a home, and the church is a true family to them.