Due to some technical issues with my blog, I haven’t been able to post this until now – but I’ve been dying to! Last Tuesday night we hosted the Watoto Children’s Choir from Kampala, Uganda. It’s a group that I’ve been personally connected to for years now; over the five years before moving to Brandywine Valley Baptist Church I helped my church in Maine host the choir several times and plan several mission trips to Uganda to work with Watoto, including the one I led. Their goal of rescuing 10,000 orphans in Uganda is incredible – and they are pulling it off! Uganda will be a different place a generation from now through the leadership of these young children Watoto has rescued!
But back to the Concert of Hope! I’ll be honest, it turns out that I don’t know how to dream big enough. I started the process of bringing the choir to the church two and a half years ago when I first came on staff; this was the first (and only) date option that we had … and it was a Tuesday night. To say I was disappointed would be putting it mildly. As we promoted it, talked it up to the church, and tried to spread the word, I was somewhat confident that we could see 300 people come out … and I thought if God really answered our prayers, we might have a miracle and see 500 people. Landing a concert on a school night, with a group that no one had heard of other than my family, just didn’t seem like a recipe for success! When Sam Kimera, the director called me a couple days before the concert to check in he asked how big our sanctuary is. I told him it could hold 650 people or so, to which he said, ‘We’re gonna fill it up!’
He had no idea how right he was!
People came in droves. All the neighboring parking lots were maxed out, people were parking on the road, taking a hike to get there. No one wanted to sit in the foyer area, so they crammed into the pews, set up extra chairs, children sat on the floor, people stood around the walls – it was amazing! Over 800 people turned out to hear the stories of hope! Many of them were visitors which was awesome because ultimately we envisioned this as an outreach event and our church made it happen by inviting their neighbors, friends, class mates and coworkers!