By Amanda Boston
The Watoto Children’s Choir will perform in the Tampa Bay area from Thursday, February 23 to Wednesday, March 8. As the choir traverses the globe, this energetic group of 18 Ugandan orphans act as ambassadors for the millions of orphans in Africa.
The Oh, What Love concert is based on 1 John 3:1, “See what kind of love the father has given us, that we should be called children of God, and so we are.” The performance is a musical testimony of the hope these orphans have found in God’s love despite their circumstance. The animated production incorporates singing, clapping and dancing to distinct African drumbeats.
The Watoto Children’s Choir is based out of Kampala, the capital of Uganda and travels annually to six continents to convey awareness of Africa’s needs. The choir is part of the Watoto Church’s Child Care Ministries, which uses a holistic approach to raise orphans as leaders and rebuild the nation of Uganda. In 1994, Gary and Marilyn Skinner, the Watoto Church founders, established the ministry in response to the millions of children orphaned by the HIV/AIDS epidemic and civil wars.
Edwin Naijuka is a Watoto Church member and one of the choir directors. He described the concert as a message of hope, “It is testimony of where God has brought them from. It’s a testimony of God’s love for them. It’s a message of hope to those who feel hopeless—to let them know there is actually a God who cares for them and that he can bring them out of whatever situation their life is in and turn it around.”
The Watoto choir is comprised of seven independent choirs each performing for a six-month period at different locations around the world.
The seven choirs are made up of nine boys and nine girls—all parentless through death or abandonment. The Watoto ministries provide these disadvantaged children with a loving family environment and an education.
With African beats and tales of transformation, the Watoto Children’s Choir is not a show to miss. The 90-minute concert is a free event and is opened to the public. For a complete tour schedule of dates, times and locations, please visit www.watoto.com/choir/. If you would like to support the Watoto’s ministries, please visit the choir website at www.watoto.com/give/sponsor/.