The Ottumwa Courier

Southeast Iowa

May 15, 2014

Watoto Children’s Choir makes stop in Pella

PELLA — “The day my mother died, someone gathered me in their lap and told me my father had hung himself. It was the worst day of my life. My father’s family would not take care of my siblings and I because they blamed my mother for my father’s death.” In one day this young girl good-bye to her mother and lost her father also. In a single day she became an orphan.

This seems unfathomable to us who live in the United States. But to children of Uganda this and similar stories are very normal. Much more normal than we would even like to think about. In Africa some 50 million children are orphaned and vulnerable due to HIV/AIDS, war, poverty and disease.

The amazing part is that the children that visited Pella this week are filled with joy. Smiles radiate from their whole bodies. They dance and sing and share the love of Jesus in a way that is mesmerizing. They are part of the Watoto Children’s Choir that has been traveling in North America since January and will be here until July 4.

The theme for the Watoto Children’s Choir this year is “Beautiful Africa: A New Generation.” After seeing the beautiful array of colors, the highly energetic dances and the angelic voices that make up the Choir’s concert, it is difficult to imagine that anyone would think of Africa as anything but beautiful.

A picture is worth a thousand words and in this case the photos tell the story much better than I can with words. Never pass up an opportunity to see the Watoto Children’s Choir. And consider supporting a child.

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