African Children Spread Joy of God’s Love to Freedom Church
By James Celeste
Energy, enthusiasm and excitement were all felt around the room as Mwangaza African Children’s Choir endeavored to make the members of Tallahassee’s Freedom Church to feel the presence of God.
The loud rumbles of drums, children singing and dancing were a taste of their African Culture on Friday, March 6th.
The group of talented children from East Africa had been staying with the families of the church for a couple days sharing great stories and music and getting to know the people of the church. Every year, the children tour with Mwangaza, hoping to see lives transformed by the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Mwangaza is the Swahili word for “shining light.” The choir is based in Gaba, Uganda. Their concerts raise awareness of the churches, schools, orphanages, medical clinics and child sponsorships that have been established by Africa Renewal Ministries.
This choir is an inspiring group of 20 hopeful and talented children, ages 8-14, who admirably represent the orphaned and poverty-stricken youth of Uganda. The concert on Friday was titled “Breaking Free;” it shared a message about freedom and hope to the audience.
Misty Brennan, tour director of Africa Renewal Ministries said, “Their spreading joy and hope. Several of the children will be giving testimony of certain bondages that they were once enslaved to. Through Jesus Christ and through knowledge of him through Sunday school, they will be able to be freed from those bondages such as anger and bitterness.”
Many of the children experience lots of traumatic things at a young age. These concerts, allow the children to give their testimonies and share life experiences with audiences.
“Most of the kids were held captive,” said Angella, Mwangaza choir director, “many to anger, loneliness, abandonment, so we bring to them freedom.”
One of the children of the choir, Brenda – a 12-year-old little girl whose parents were separated when she was very young, had a compelling story to tell the audience. She really did not know her father. Her father abandoned their home. Her father rejected her and did not love her. This created resentment in her heart at such a tender age, she said. After going to church several times, not receiving the word of the Lord and gaining any hope. One day, Brenda received sponsorship by the African Renewal Ministry. There she was encouraged to go to Sunday school. The message of hope and love was continually prayed to her making a difference in her life, as one day she said, “God set me free from a bitter spirit to ask my father by enabling me to forgive him.”
From that point on, Brenda walks in the spirit of forgiveness and that she now loves her father. “I know that in everything, God works for good for those who love him,” she said.
The Mwangaza choir was founded by Peter Kasirivu, pastor of Gaba Community Church and CEO of Africa Renewal Ministries. Since 2004, Africa Renewal Ministries (ARM) has sent out nine choir tours – six across the United States and three in the Netherlands.
Gaining support is one of the biggest the ministry is trying to raise awareness about.
Visit www.mchoir.org to learn more about sponsoring a child, viewing upcoming schedule dates as well as other important information.