“Coffee is our food and life. Drinking coffee is like drinking water in our country,” says Haregewyn Moges Kidanewold, delegate at the Twelfth Assembly of The Lutheran World Federation and director of Gudina Fumsa Training Centre in the Evangelical Ethiopian Church Mekane Yesus (EECMY).
Coffee is regarded as the first food product introduced in Ethiopia many centuries ago. Kidanewold was eager to take part in showcasing the traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony at the Assembly’s Omatala market. “Our tradition is that when a visitor comes, the first thing is to give him or her coffee. If you come to our local markets you will find people drinking coffee everywhere, everyday,” says Kidanewold.
The Omatala provided Kidanewold with the unique opportunity to highlight how important coffee is in Ethiopia and share it with Assembly participants as they came to visit her in the marketplace. With her beautiful smile, Kidanewold was happy to welcome visitors to be a part of the traditional ceremony and enjoy a warm cup of freshly brewed coffee.
Supporting the diaconal work of the church
Coffee is found everywhere in Ethiopia. And it’s not just for enjoying, says Kindanewold. The traditional coffee ceremony is also used as a fundraising tool for many people, including the church.
Many people grow coffee for the purpose of export outside of Ethiopia. This serves as a fundraising opportunity for churches, especially when large congregations participate together.
Revenue from coffee ceremonies is often used to support those in need, including women and children in the surrounding communities.