Guest blogger: Sydney Berry, Watoto US Marketing Coordinator
March was an exciting month making new friends and reuniting with some old ones. I’ll never cease to be amazed by God’s goodness and provision for the choirs as they travel. It’s already been nearly 4 months since Choir 41 landed in the US! I joined up with Choir 41 for a few dates in March in Nashville and Atlanta. Please enjoy these stories and photos and feel free to comment. I love hearing from you!
VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY IN NASHVILLE, TN
A young woman named Berkely, a Senior at Vanderbilt, first heard about Watoto at Passion 2010 in Atlanta. She was moved by Marilyn Skinner’s testimony and the Watoto story. She wasn’t’ sure what, but she knew that she had to do something. Berkely took this burden on her heart back with her to Nashville and started looking into hosting the Choir at her school. With many phone calls, determination and dedication, she successfully booked the Choir for March 20th at 5:30pm in The Commons. The concert was a wonderful success! HUGE THANKS to Berkely and all of the Sponsors: Hank Ingram House, North House, West House, Stambaugh House, Crawford House, Murray House, Gillette House, the Black Cultural Center, VSG, Interfaith, and the Office of the Dean of The Commons.
For more photos and videos from Vanderbilt and other stops on the tour, check out the Watoto US Facebook Page. For updates from Watoto Choirs around the world, join the official Watoto Children’s Choir Facebook Group.
COCA-COLA SCHOLARS BANQUET IN ATLANTA, GA
The following week, we hopped down to Atlanta for the Coca-Cola Scholars Banquet on March 25th with our good friend Chris Tomlin. Chris and the children performed the song Love from Chris’ album “Hello Love” which an earlier choir recorded on in 2008. It was great catching up with Chris and hearing about some of his current projects, as well as Passion City Church, a church he and friends Louie and Shelley Giglio, among others, started last year.
The evening presented many wonderful opportunities for the Coca-Cola scholars to be encouraged and challenged, both by former scholars and keynote speaker Ron Clark from The Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta. Ron’s message was dynamic and lots of fun, but most of all, a challenge to not be limited by your circumstances, but to go after your dreams. To close the night, Chris shared the story behind the song and then he and the Choir performed. It was clear that the crowd was touched and I feel very blessed to have been there for such a beautiful moment.
Thank you for coming along with us on the journey. The children have experienced sights and sounds on this tour in the US that will be joyous memories for a lifetime. We are thankful for the love and support of our wonderful friends here in the US and around the world. If you are interested in getting involved by hosting a choir, child sponsorship or volunteering, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please check back regularly for updates from the road!