My daughter, granddaughter and I had a chance to hear the Ugandan Children’s Choir at a Christian music festival last weekend. I was so fascinated by these children, all orphans, who were so happy and animated and talented! They sang and danced, and the boys played drums and hollowed-out logs. I had to email my friend and fellow writer, Betty Liedtke, who has started a fund to help young women in Uganda break free of the cycle of poverty and prostitution in which they are now trapped.
Betty said she had missed our festival, but that she had seen children performing in Uganda. In an article she sent me that she wrote for the Chanhassen, Minnesota, Villager paper in 2012, Betty said she and her companion were “invited to view a performance by (female) students…leaving…that afternoon to compete in the National Music Festival in Kampala.” Betty described how they were “mesmerized by the girls – by their clear, strong voices, their powerful and energetic dance moves, and the bright, engaging smiles that seemed wider than their faces.” Having just seen a similar group, I heartily agreed with Betty that these kids were already champions.
Betty’s article goes on to say that she and her companion later came upon the bus carrying these same girls. Parked at the side of the road, the bus had a flat tire which was just being fixed by the bus driver and the teachers. Betty asked if she could take a picture of the bus, and she was ushered into the bus, where each Ugandan girl posed and grinned as she snapped photos. Betty believed “their excitement about the music festival, their cheerful-by-nature personalities, and the positive attitude and upbringing they learned at school” had been the reason for the smiles, along with the fact that they remembered Betty from when she was cheering for them at their school that morning.
The Ugandan children—indeed, all the people there—show such enthusiasm when they sing about God, Betty says, that “Let us pray” often means “Let us sing.” We can learn an important lesson from the people of Uganda: the world is the Lord’s and we are all worshiping together!
Lord of the Earth, let us sing! Amen
To find out more about Betty Liedtke’s work with the Ugandan women, check out her website at http://findyourburiedtreasure.com/uganda