- Written by Nelly Sanford Nelly Sanford
- Created: 18 April 2016 18 April 2016
We are excited to be hosting the Watoto Children’s Choir from Uganda here at Saint John’s on June 14. The choir will be presenting their brand new choir production, “Oh What Love.” This performance is part of a United States tour through the midwest that will conclude in Denver.
In 1994, Watoto Church founded Watoto Child Care Ministry, Inc, an international holistic care program that was initiated as a response to the overwhelming number of orphaned and vulnerable children and women in Uganda. It is positioned to rescue an individual, raise each one as a leader in their chosen sphere of life so that they in turn will rebuild their nation. The model involves physical care, medical intervention, including HIV/AIDS treatment, education (formal and vocational), counseling and emotional well-being as well as moral and spiritual discipleship. Gary Skinner, Watoto Founder says, “God’s heart for the marginalized is not just to see individuals rescued, but rather to see them thrive as their lives are transformed.”
Watoto Children’s Choirs have toured the world annually as advocates for the eighteen million African children currently orphaned by AIDS. “Concerts of Hope” are held in churches, community halls, schools and other venues around the globe. The choirs have performed before Presidents and Royalty in the White House, Buckingham Palace and many other National Parliaments. The choir also performed at the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Pageant in the United Kingdom. Audiences are inspired as the children sing, dance and celebrate their story of hope.
The concert will be at 6:30 PM in the Sanctuary. In this dynamic worship experience, the members of the Watoto Children’s Choir, who were once orphans, share their journeys to redemption and demonstrate that God desires to be a loving father to all. “Through their unique personalities, the children now communicate and share the sense of belonging they found in God their father,” says James Skinner, Creative Director of the Watoto Children’s Choir. “After losing my parents I felt alone, with no one to love me. Now I know that God is my father. He loves and cares for me. As I travel with the choir, I am going to show people that God loves them too,” says six-year-old Jackie Nakku.
The production is based on 1 John 3:1, “See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.” “Oh What Love” provides a unique worship experience that celebrates the urban African landscape and brings out the individual talents and charisma of the children. The production is indicative of emerging, modern Africa: a continent coming out of ruin and exploring its true identity. Africa is coming of age and so are her people. Her children and young adults are the key to the future. “Oh, What Love” has brought out the unique God-given talents of young Africans to express their hope and hearts of worship. Almost twenty local Ugandan songwriters have contributed to crafting songs that share the stories of the orphan child and God’s love through worship.
We are providing a meal before the performance for the choir and congregation, so you can mix and mingle with the children and their sponsors from Uganda. We could use some help getting things set up for the performance. We need volunteers to assist with setup and teardown, preparation of the meal and hosting the event. We are also seeking eight host families who can each house two or three children and one adult after the performance. Please speak to Nelly Sanford if you can volunteer. A sign-up sheet for host families is at the Welcome Center.
“What an extraordinary experience it is to host the Watoto Children’s Choir. It lights up the place to see these beautiful kids, and when you hear their story, you think of all God has done—where they have come from, to the transformation that has happened in their lives. They’re going to bless you. You will love it!”Brian Houston, Senior Pastor: Hillsong Church.
The Board of Human Needs finds opportunities for the members of Saint John’s to provide a Christian witness by helping people in the community struggling with daily necessities.