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Ugandan orphan choir takes the stage at School of Discovery

By Oniska Blevins | The Selma Times-Journal

“Awesome savior give me water. I am thirsty. Lord I’m thirsty for you,” were the words sung by Uganda’s Esangalo Children’s Choir Tuesday night as a part of its “Be Filled Tour.”

Smiles, excitement, and even tears flowed throughout the crowd at the School of Discovery as members of the choir danced and sang.

Before the performance, director Tony Mbowa spoke of the importance of worship and how it helps the children through their hard times. He said the “Be Filled Tour” got its theme because water not only fills us physically, but spiritually as well.

“Water is also in the bible. It takes away the thirst in the spiritual aspect. Jesus says I can give you water and you will thirst no more,” Mbowa said.

The choir of 20 children performed over 10 gospel songs in English and their native languages of Samywa, and Luganda. The audience joined in as they sang, worshipped and praised about God and how he is their “hiding place” when things are hard.

“The tour means sharing what God has done for them. Many have been through a lot, lots of trouble” Mbowa said.

“Many don’t have parents and those that have parents aren’t adequate enough to help them or provide for their basic needs.”

Esangalo means, “The Joy,” and as the choir performed, they expressed joy and appreciation for Christ. They recited the bible verse John 7:37, “On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, ‘Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink.’” This, Mbowa said, invites the audience to learn about Christ and what he has to offer.

“The message is mainly salvation, because we try to reach out to those that don’t know Christ,” he said. “It kind of intertwines with so many things, but salvation, as in the body of Christ, that’s the greatest combination.”

The Selma Children’s Choir opened the program and sang their song “Be Kind to Your Parents.” Beth Watters, director of the choir, said it is not too late to sign up for the choir. The group is comprised of fourth, fifth and sixth graders and currently has six members.

For more information on the Esangalo Choir and how to donate to helping hands organization visit www.helpinghandsmissions.org. For more information on the Selma Children’s Choir contact Beth Watters at (334) 407-8520 or email selmachildrenchorus@gmail.com