May 24

African Children’s Choir visits Helena Campus


Every once in a while, a unique and special opportunity presents itself for the children of Intermountain to connect with other children who have experienced many of the same difficulties they must face, even if their stories started on opposite sides of the globe. Such was the case when Chaplain Chris Haughee was able to arrange for the African Children’s Choir to come and visit campus while they were in Montana on their West Coast tour of the United States. While Intermountain started from the hard work of the Deaconesses rallying around Brother Van’s call that the suffering of children not go unanswered, a similar vision birthed a ministry on the African continent. Here is just a part of that story:

Thirty years ago, Ray Barnett was on a humanitarian trip to war-torn Uganda when he gave a small boy a ride from his decimated home to the safety of another village. During the journey, the child did what he knew how to do best–he sang. That simple song of dignity and hope became the catalyst for a program, that has changed the lives of thousands of children and reshaped the future of the African continent.

“When I went back to Canada and people were not very interested in Uganda, I remembered this small boy,” Ray explained. “I knew that if only a group of these beautiful children could go to the West, people would be deeply moved and would certainly want to help.” From this the African Children’s Choir was born.African Children Choir1

The African Children’s Choir is composed of African children, aged 7 to 10 years old. Many have lost one or both parents through the devastation of war, famine and disease. They represent all the children of the continent and demonstrate the potential of African children to become strong leaders for a better future in their land.

the children warmed up for their concert on the bus and got to hear a little bit about the ministry of Intermountain from Chaplain Chris

the children warmed up for their concert on the bus and got to hear a little bit about the ministry of Intermountain from Chaplain Chris

Tour leader Eva, choir director Mary, and pastor Jeffrey accompanied the children to Intermountain’s Helena campus on May 16th for an intimate concert for our children in residence and day treatment kids. The children were from 5 different tribes from all over Uganda who had gathered to be part of the school in Kampala from which the choir originated. They sang in their native language as well as English, and their energetic dancing stirred all of those in attendance.

A unique part of this particular concert was that our children got to share a song of thanks and welcome, too, and then were able to meet and greet the children individually at the conclusion of the time together. It may or may not be true that Chaplain Chris picked up some new dance moves from a few of the children in the choir! Regardless everyone had a wonderful time and enjoyed getting to see and hear a beautiful expression of the Ugandan culture.Choir-warm-up