Since Ethiopia is one of the oldest nations in Africa and they follow the ancient Julian calendar, Ethiopians celebrate Christmas on January 7. The Ethiopian Christian Church’s celebration of the birth of Christ is called Genna.
BCI Academy had its own celebration on the eve of Genna. Over 200 Students and teachers gathered in the cafeteria to enjoy the special programs prepared by the students and to worship God. The program included prayer, a dramatic play, songs and poems. One of the students shared the Word of God with the group, and then the students proceeded to their classrooms.
The school purchased nine Difo Dabos (traditional Ethiopian bread) to be distributed to each class. In addition each class, together with their home room teachers, raised money and bought cookies, soft drinks, popcorn and candy. After getting everything they ever wanted, the children had their share of Difo Dabo and plenty of treats! In some classes there was also a traditional coffee ceremony.
After the children went home around noon, the BCI staff enjoyed their own Christmas celebration. Pastors Tadesse and Endale gave a speech, gifts were exchanged, and they shared a traditional meal.
Sadly, for some children this is as good as it gets at Christmas and the best meal they will receive all year. Christmas morning things return as they were before. For some, this gathering is the closest they have to a “family”. Thanks to BCI and its sponsors, the children were able to experience the true gift of ‘Christ’mas.