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Children’s Choir Transports/Transforms Kids and Those Who Meet Them

The Children of the World Choir performed at Cave Spring Baptist Church recently.
by Cheryl Hodges

Roanoke recently saw some fresh young faces who were in the area to perform as part of the “Children of the World International Children’s Choir” – and “perform” somehow falls short of the experience they provided to those in attendance at Cave Spring Baptist Church in SW County. The kids, all around eight or nine years old, hail from several different nations and speak different languages but they have all learned to sing together—in English—along with their own drum accompaniment and vigorous aerobic dance routines that leave their audiences hard-pressed to take their eyes off the show, even for a moment.

The kids’ repertoire is  impressive, and perhaps even more so when most American parents watching also have to be wondering how these children can be so enthusiastic and so well disciplined, to learn these routines — when here in our culture it is a challenge just to get our kids to take out the trash. As the program unfolded, several of the kids got up individually and spoke at the microphone, saying “This is my story” to introduce a short video of their homeland and the life they left behind to join the 10-month tour with the choir.

One of the young ladies, Victoria, stood while the rest of the kids sat down together, and as her video unfolded explaining her background and homeland (Uganda) her smile was so bright, most everyone watching found themselves grinning even as they took in the images of the poverty-stricken land she had left behind.

The homelands for the 14 children, who are “a special group of orphaned and disadvantaged children,” include Nepal, the Philippines, and Uganda.  All of them come from poverty and those left behind struggle to have enough food and water, much less educate their children. The organization behind the effort, “World Help” explains that the little choir puts “a voice and a face to the desperate needs of children whose lives have been devastated by civil war, famine, poverty, unclean water, and preventable diseases.”

World Help gives people the opportunity to sponsor a child like these, for a small monthly contribution which will make a huge difference in their lives. In tandem with that effort, “causelife” is bringing attention and funds to the larger scale need for clean water in so many of these places. They point out that “for just $15,000, one deep bore well can provide life-saving water for a village of 1,000 people for 20 years.”

The choir kids’ young faces are more than enough to tug at one’s heart strings; watching the program unfold is a little overwhelming at times—many a mom had to be wondering about adoption much less a monthly donation!

Jennifer McKinney, Children of the World Office Coordinator, explains that “These children come from countries where we have national partners.  They help us choose the children on the choir.  All of the children are a part of our sponsorship program to help provide them with money for school, food, medical attention, and all around care.”

The kids have come a long way from their homes and are getting to see many wonderful places; they have performed at Disney World, Brooklyn Tabernacle, Crystal Cathedral, and Focus on the Family. This life-changing experience will not end with the completion of their choir tour; thanks to World Help, “All of these children that are a part of the Children of the World Choir for one tour will receive a college scholarship from World Help to further ensure their chance at a better future.”

McKinney adds, “It is our priority to send these children back to healthy, loving environments, and we are continually communicating and overseeing their transition upon their return to ensure this happens.”

Once the kids concluded their performance and hopped and skipped off the platform, there was a brief moment in which there seemed to be no words quite sufficient with which to conclude. Pastor Pete Schemm, recently called to pastor the church, deftly managed to bridge that pause when he said with a smile, “Doesn’t this just make us feel like we need to get out more?”

It would be interesting to know how many went home and checked to see if their passports are up to date …

For more information on World Help and causelife, visit and

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