Christmas for the Orphans

Christmas in Ethiopia is celebrated on January 7th in accordance to the Orthodox calendar.  At this time families come together to celebrate Jesus’ birth  and fellowship with family and friends over feasts of food. Unlike the U.S., gifts are not exchanged and the entire focus of Christmas is on the birth of Jesus, family, and friends.  There is a true spirit of Christmas there as tthe attention is not given to Santa, gifts, and sparkly baubles.

But for the the orphans this can be a particularly difficult time because of families gathering.  The loneliness and isolation sets in even stronger during special holidays like Christmas.  Because of this, the social workers make special arrangements for the Hope in Ethiopia orphans to attend a retreat where they can enjoy their time together and take the focus off of their difficult lives.

This Christmas, Bezawork, Director of the Child Headed Household Partnership, shared that the children were taken to Sodere Resort on buses to relax and enjoy each other as a family. Bezawork says ” The children were very happy to play in the water and have hot water showers.” The social workers also took time during this retreat to give “purpose and hope” training.

During these discussions, Bezawork was very encouraged by the children’s responses.He said that because of Chala, an orphan who recently graduated high school and is now attending college, the children are understanding what kind of future they can truly have. “They are considering their education much more thoughtfully,” Bezawork said.

Please continue praying that these orphans fully realize their future and hope!

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