Ugandan group performs today

Published 4:50 am Saturday, February 11, 2017

On Thursday, the voices of 18 singing Ugandan orphans backed by a band brought down the house at New Hope Baptist Church.
It was the Watoto Children’s Choir, back again for another tour of the area.
The tour is called Signs and Wonders and tonight the Watoto Children’s Choir will be in Beaumont, at St. Peter Missionary Baptist Church. The show features praise songs and it starts at 6:30 p.m.
As always, the concert is free for anyone to attend.
Aubrey Hudson, the communications director at Watoto Child Care Ministry said the Texas tour just started a month ago, and so far it’s been a big hit.
“It’s been an amazing opportunity for these kids,” she said.
Watoto cares for about 3,000 children and they have multiple tours around the world simultaneously.
The children in this group range from 8 years to about 13, and Hudson said the experience is supposed to be a cultural learning experience for the kids.
This tour the children are joined on stage by adult musicians, although these folks were not raised in the orphanage.
“This is the first time we’ve ever had live musicians travel with the choir,” she said.
Nevertheless, each part of the organization synchs up without much visible effort. The show includes group songs, solo singing, a bit of rapping and some talented musicians. Hudson said Uganda is a very musical place, and the visible joy on the faces of the children is not pretense.
“It’s really cool, what you see on stage is how they are. They are so joyful. They’re so excited to be here. They work very hard,” Hudson said.
According to a press release, the group has been touring the world since 1994, sharing the plights of Africa’s orphaned children. Each child in the choir has suffered the loss of one or both of their parents, but they have been rescued and now live in a Watoto village. Watoto is a holistic child-care solution initiated to serve the dire needs of the people of Africa.
One of the performers is Esther Kahangi and her biography is an illustration of those needs.
Abandoned at a hospital in Kampala, Kahangi was rescued by Watoto as a premature baby and spent her first weeks in critical care. Now, she is a healthy, joyful 8-year-old who is currently touring with the choir.
“I am excited to be a part of Signs and Wonders,” said Kahangi, in a press release. “I know that I am a wonder because I am chosen by God as His child.”
If the thunderous applause from the crowd Thursday was any indication, the audiences are also excited.
Hudson said the experience of seeing these kids will not be forgotten.
“If you have the chance to see them, the joy that they have the story of hope they have is amazing. It’s life changing,” she said.
The choir will be performing at the following venues:
Beaumont – St. Peter Missionary Baptist Church (4615 South 4th St.) on Saturday, Feb. 11 at 6:30 p.m.
Beaumont – McCabe Roberts Methodist Church (1205 Roberts Ave.) on Sunday, Feb. 12 at 10:30 a.m.
Beaumont, Texas – Wesley United Methodist Church (3810 N. Major Dr.) on Sunday, Feb. 12 at 6 p.m.
Winnie – First United Methodist Church (117 Freeman St.) on Tuesday, Feb. 14 at 6:30 p.m.
Watch the trailer for Signs and Wonders here:
For a complete choir tour schedule, visit

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