The tour is wrapped, and the bags are packed — and just like that, another incredible tour with the Children of the World International Children’s Choir has come to an end. We are sad to see the kids leave, but we are grateful for every moment of this past year. And what a year it was!
Since the tour began last fall, the Children of the World choir has traveled more than 30,000 miles and visited 28 states. But in between the long bus rides and concerts, the kids got the chance to experience some things they’ll never forget.
The kids loved their time on the West Coast. During the spring months, they got the chance to see the Hollywood sign and travel to Palm Desert. California offered the kids plenty of time at the pool — one of their favorite places! They also toured the Jelly Belly factory, where they got to taste all the different flavors of jelly beans — from bubblegum and blueberry to stinky socks and moldy cheese.
Thanks to a generous donor, the kids got the chance to revisit the Great Wolf Lodge in Washington. Their favorite activities were the indoor wave pool and the Howling Tornado slide. One of girls had grown so much during the tour that she was able to go on slides that she was too short for at Christmas.
In New Mexico, the team visited White Sands National Monument. They rented sleds to speed down the dunes. Although it was hot, the children enjoyed the warm weather and liked playing in the sand. They definitely slept well that night!
The choir spent the trip back East watching the scenery shift while playing UNO, coloring pictures, and studying Scripture memory verses.
As the kids reflect back on the tour, Krisbell and Prince decided their favorite stops were in states where it was snowy. Prince especially liked Ohio “because it’s cold and I got to wear coats and scarves and gloves,” he said.
While the kids, of course, enjoyed their time at Disney World, the San Diego Zoo, and other attractions, some of their best memories were made with the wonderful families who hosted them.
“My favorite part of the tour was staying with host families because we have fun going to zoos and riding bikes and playing with their kids and grandkids,” said Shivam.
Kayla Eshleman, who led the team with her husband, Keith, said, “The most impactful thing for us was the opportunity to build relationships not only with the kids, but also with church members and host families. It was exciting to seem them join us in our ministry to help others around the world.”
Now that tour is finished, the kids are happy about going home. “I’m excited to see my family,” said Bertha.
It is a bittersweet time, but we are excited to see what God will do in the lives of each of the children when they return home. When they grow up, they want to become teachers, artists, mechanics, doctors, and more. But whatever they do, we know God will use them in incredible ways … He already has.
During the tour, the children were able to share the love of Jesus and promote child sponsorship to more than 33,000 people during 151 concerts. Because of that, 1,200 children in need around the world now have sponsors!
Keith and Kayla are proud of the kids and the ways they have grown.
“We pray that they will continue to seek Jesus through the good and bad,” Kayla said. “We hope that when they experience rough times, the Bible verses and songs they learned this year will come to their minds as reassurance that God is with them in every season.”
Thank you for supporting the Children of the World as they impact the lives of men, women, and children around the world!