Sunday, November 28, 2010

Watoto Choir

Several Fridays ago, I attended a concert by the Watoto Children's Choir. Quite an amazing experience, I must say. They come from the Watoto program in Uganda. All of the children in the choir (approximately ages 9-17) were formerly abducted to be child soldiers in the LRA. What heartbreaking stories they had to tell... However, they all had wonderful songs to share as well! Rich, tight harmonies, pounding rhythms, and joyful dancing. Talk about FUN! They did two concerts in a row, and I almost stayed for the second concert just to hear them sing again.

Instead of preaching the usual salvation message, these children presented the gospel through forgiveness. Although they had all been child soldiers and experienced horrors beyond imagination, they all stepped forward and said, "I forgive..." and then proceeded to say exactly who they forgave. For most, it was the army leaders who had ripped them from their homes, killed their family members, and forced them to commit brutalities against their will. To most of us, the thought of forgiving people like that would be almost inconceivable, and yet these children proclaim that the power of Jesus Christ and His forgiveness allows them to forgive others. I found their approach very relevant and meaningful - much better than some other touring choirs or shows that I've seen.

For more on the Watoto project and all that they do for former child soldiers, desolate women, abandoned children, and others needing rehabilitation, check out their website here. I would really encourage you to look around - there is a much bigger world out there than we realize sometimes...

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