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AL.com | “Children of the World Choir visits Alabama”

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  • January 02, 2019

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Did you know that there are 65 million people in the world who have been forced from their homes by war, famine or disaster?

What if you could help, by showing up to listen to 15 children from three small countries sing and dance and worship?

On Jan. 13, at 8 a.m. and 9:15 a.m., the Children of the World Choir will perform at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Hazel Green, and give those in attendance both an inspiring performance and an opportunity to help a world crisis that’s affecting millions, particularly in the Middle East, Africa and Central America.

“It’s one of the greatest refugee crises in the history of the world,” said Kayla Eshleman, the choir leader. “There’s a saying in Somalia: ‘No one leaves home unless home is the mouth of a shark.’ That’s the kind of situation these people are in.”

The Children of the World Choir is made up of eight kids from Nepal, three from Uganda and four from the Phillipines. They are selected by the international organization World Help to spend 10 months traveling through America, singing at churches and Christian schools, raising money and bringing awareness to the refugee crisis and World Help’s Refuge + Strength project.

They’ve already made stops in 16 states, and will visit 11 more before they are done, including a Dec. 30 performance in at Ladonia Baptist Church Phenix City and the Jan. 13 stop in Hazel Green.

“What they’ll see is the kids singing and dancing and a very energetic performance, and the kids sharing their stories and letting people know how they can get involved,” Eshleman said.

The choir sings songs worship songs in their native languages as well as in English.

You might wonder, how can parents send their children away to another country for a 10-month choir tour? But, in many cases, the choir members are in children’s homes for children who have lost their parents, or whose parents can’t afford to provide for them, Eshleman said.

Part of the mission and ministry is to find sponsors for the refugee children at $35 per month, and all of the choir members are sponsored already.

And in return for using their talents to raise awareness for the cause, the children in the choir will get something most important — an education.

“After they finish in the program, they go on to get a scholarship to finish their education just for being part of the choir,” Eshleman said.


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