Welela: Traditions Old and New

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Welela and her children arrived to the Seattle area 9 months ago and they have moved from danger to a new life here filled with joy and friendship.  We sat down and talked to her about her family, Christmas here, and her traditions from back home in Eritrea.

How many Christmases have you celebrated in the US?
This will be the first time.

Describe your first Christmas memories. Are there any traditions of Christmas in your home country or culture?
I remember celebrating with my family, and preparing different foods and going to picnics. I also gave and received many Christmas cards and presents. The same as in America.

What is the meaning of Christmas for you?
Passing into a new year, and celebrating Jesus Christ.

What are you looking for to this Christmas?
I’m happy because it’s the first time we will have Christmas in America. I know many people from many countries and languages, and have made many friends with my neighbors and with World Relief. I’m ready to celebrate with them and prepare everything. I will prepare popcorn, biscuits, and all foods for Christmas.

What was Christmas like when you were living in a refugee camp or while you were fleeing your country?
Christmas was the same in Ethiopia as in Eritrea.

When did you come to Seattle and why did you have to leave your home country?
I came on February 28, 2013. We left our country because of danger. We could not practice our religion in our country. Pentecostal’s do not live in our country. We are not safe there.

What do you tell your children about Christmas?
I talk to them about the new year coming, and I talk to them about Jesus Christ; how He was born to die and give life to the world.

What is your life like since moving to the United States?
It is good. I had a new baby boy named Japheth. He is now 8 weeks old.

If you could say anything to the people reading this what would you want to say to them?
I’m okay here in America. I pray all the time for America and the people. I pray blessings on them because they are helping many people to come to America.

Would you make a gift to World Relief Seattle this season to bless many more families like Welela’s?  Click Here to Give Online

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