Happy New Year!

11 Sep

Today is New Years Eve.  Well, here in Ethiopia it is.  It is a time of happiness, joy and family.  And shopping traffic jams.  We got caught in one on the way home last night and took a “shortcut”.  New Years is celebrated each year with family get-togethers and food and sharing gifts… much like the secular part of our Christmas.  We even received a hand-made New Years Card from our staff here.  One of our Ethiopian friends said New Years Day tradition means eating a lot…meat in particular, sometime enough to not feel well the next day.  As you drive through the streets past the sheep markets you see people shopping for New Years Day cuisine, still on the hoof.  One man was inviting one to dinner in the trunk of his car with its feet tied together so it would not jump out.  It did not seem to be a very appreciative guest.  If you have money you invite a sheep if you do not, you invite a chicken even if you must borrow money to do it.

The Ethiopian calendar is made up of twelve months with thirty days in each one.  Then comes the thirteenth month, with five, except this year-their leap year-then it has six. On Monday it will be 2004 here.  Traditionally, salaried workers are not paid for the thirteenth month.  In evangelical christian circles it is common to spend more time with God in prayer and in the Word searching for guidance and revelation for the year to come during that thirteenth month.  New Years Day is one of the few holidays in Ethiopia that is enjoyed by all without religious significance showing priority to one of the major religions.  It is a time of unity for that reason…and hope.  For some, it is hope that life will change in the coming year.  Not unlike our resolutions.  Our beneficiaries at LSM have made their resolutions too.  Not to get off the weight…to get “off the streets”.  It is our mission to share hope with those hearts.  “Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and auld lang syne..”

One Response to “Happy New Year!”

  1. Johney & Mekdes September 14, 2011 at 12:54 pm #

    We are very glad to read such a wonderful message of you in the 3rd day of Ethiopian New Year! Certainly, you described our nations’ New Year Holiday spirit in a very good way.

    May God bless you and your ministry here for our nations for the ultimate sake of God’s kingdom glory! Johney & Mekdes

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