Children from Uganda, Nepal, Honduras and the Philippines with World Help sang and danced in brightly colored clothes in Greenwood Christian School’s auditorium Thursday.
Boys from Nepal and the Philippines beat on drums and danced while the children sang upbeat Christian music in front of the students at Greenwood Christian.
World Help is a Christian charity organization that raises money to provide crisis and disaster relief, feeding programs and emergency health care across the world.
The Children of the World Choir is made up of orphans and children who live at children’s homes across the world, which partner with World Help.
Jessica Feister and her husband started leading the choir last summer, which she said was a dream of theirs since they saw them perform at Liberty University, where they both attended.
“We flew out to Uganda to get started with this journey — my husband actually traveled with the choir three years ago as a sound tech, but this is our first year traveling together as team leaders,” Feister said. “The Children of the World Choir is a small part of World Help, and they’re here to raise awareness for the situations around the world — poverty and malnutrition — and ways that we can help other children.”
When parents and children walked in the auditorium Thursday, they received a book about the choir and organization as well as a card of a child they can sponsor.
“They are from Honduras, Nepal, the Philippines and Uganda, and they are actually all sponsored children through the sponsorship program, and so they’re here to raise awareness a lot of times for their friends back home who need that extra support they’re receiving,” Feister said.
The choir travels for 10 months out of the year before the children return to their centers. They perform four to five times a week across the United States and stay with host families at each location.
“To be with them, they’re precious kids. They’re just as precious inside as they are on the outside and it really is rewarding — it’s a lot of fun. The memories that we have with them and the experiences that we have with them, and just to see how much they’ve grown from the beginning of the tour until now, they’re little personalities have definitely broken out,” Feister said.
Feister said a lot of times, the children will recognize a child featured in the booklet as someone who stays at their center.
“The cutest things are when they wonder, ‘How many got sponsored?’ And they see their friends in the programs that are up for sponsorship and they go, ‘Oh that’s my friend, she got sponsored!’ And they get so excited for that,” Feister said. “It really is something that’s very much real for them, and they know the children that need to be sponsored and they get excited when they find out five, 10 children were sponsored today.”
Angel McAllister, marketing director for Greenwood Christian, said the choir performed for the school five years ago, and when the opportunity arose for them to come back, everyone at the school was excited.
“Those of us that were here for those concerts are still being touched by their efforts and their mission. So when the opportunity came and they let us know they were going to be in the area, we jumped on this with both feet,” McAllister said. “It was easy to find host families, it was a pleasure to welcome them into our school and it is a blessing to us both for the choir and for our GCS family, because we see God’s hand at work.”
Read more at International Choir performs at Greenwood Christian.