The Watoto Experience

The Watoto Children’s Choir was in town last night for the Concert of Hope at West Side UMC (see Joleen’s preview post). It was a tremendous and inspiring experience!

The group from Uganda (Africa), who is in the fifth month of their 6-month tour, arrived yesterday around 2:00 pm where Joleen and others from West Side greeted them. Ethan joined them after his nap around 3:30 and was with them at the church until after 9:00 pm. I joined them at 5:00 for the meal. Ethan did well in spite of the long, exciting day (and everyone seemed to enjoy Ethan)!

The church provided a nice meal (served by the youth of West Side and Centre Grove churches) prior to the concert. People began trickling in around 6:00 pm and by 7:00 pm, the place was packed. The concert, which included both musical performances and stories of the children’s experiences of finding hope in Jesus Christ, was very inspiring.

We had the privilege of hosting two boys, Denis and Moses, and their chaperone, Uncle Frederick. We enjoyed having them stay in our home, and Ethan enjoyed playing in the playroom with Denis and Moses for about an hour before breakfast this morning.

I love Watoto’s emphasis on “raising future leaders” (BTW, Watoto is the Swahili word for “children”). It’s great to meet the needs of children, but I appreciate the vision of transforming the future of Uganda (and Africa, for that matter) by shaping the leaders of tomorrow.

At the concert, the choir highlighted opportunities to support the work of Watoto, through sponsorship as well as purchasing items like t-shirts, hats, African jewelry, and CDs and DVDs of the choir’s music. Check out watoto.com to learn more about sponsorship opportunities and/or to purchase items from the online store.

To learn more about Uganda (located in East Africa), visit:

I’m sure there were better photographers than I at the concert (they moved too fast for me and my camera), but here are some of the photos I took. See also the photos I posted on the photos page).

If you took photos at the concert (and/or hosted children in your home) and would like to add some of your photos to the gallery, please let Joleen or me know. Email them to us (if you have one of our email addresses) or if you need one of our addresses, post a comment or contact us through the contact page, and we’ll let you know where to send them.

In the meantime, here are some images from the Watoto experience …

2 thoughts on “The Watoto Experience

  1. Susan says:

    The Watoto experience was absolutely the most rewarding opportunity that my husband and I have ever had. The joy of the children was so uplifting. We were blessed by the concert and also the opportunity to host Davis and Uncle Brian. They shared so much information on their home and their mission. It was truly inspiring. I thank God for sending them to us!

  2. Nancy Koerber says:

    We were grateful for the opportunity to host choir members. They were so polite, appreciative, and responsible. It would have been great to have them another night! When one of the boys said he wanted to be a bus driver I started singing The Wheels on the Bus. They seemed familiar with it and enjoyed learning all the verses. What a good work is being done through the Watoto villages.

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