Posted by: Choir | June 19, 2014

The choir’s “shopping list”

Summer is upon us, and in just a few weeks, we look forward to welcoming the arrival of our next Ugandan Kids Choir! After months of rehearsals learning songs and endless dance steps to the toe-tapping, hand-slapping rhythm of their teachers, the children will be coming to America!


There will be tearful farewells and hugs with loved ones and friends, who I imagine will encourage them to be good, bold and brave. And then their adventure will begin!

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Posted by: Choir | April 29, 2014

Did you know the choir children attend school?

I remember my 4th grade teacher. Her name was Miss Papp. She had hair like Farah Fawcett and smelled like cherry blossoms. On Fridays she would bring in a guitar and sit on her desk at the front, strumming and smiling while enthusiastically teaching us a new song. I wonder what memories our choir kids will have of their teachers. Did you know that they are in school the entire time they’re on tour?


The kids have all their basic subjects to keep up with, plus the songs and dances they perform are a type of “study” as well. To help them with these studies, they have 2 teachers from Uganda. Let’s meet them!


Name: Juliet Nankya

Title: Musical Director

From: Uganda


Question: How did you become a Musical Director? Tell me something about your job.

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Posted by: Choir | April 15, 2014

Faith of the Choir

There are many ways to worship the Lord. And our choir excels in several of them!


What does the Bible tell us about worshipping the Lord?

Psalm 95:1 – Oh come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!

Psalm 150:3-5 – Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp! Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe!

Praise him with sounding cymbals; praise him with loud clashing cymbals!

Psalm 100:1-2 – Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing!

Psalm 33:3 – Sing to him a new song; play skillfully on the strings, with loud shouts.

Psalm 119:11 – I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.

SingingClapping and singing, our choir loves showing their love for the Lord!

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Posted by: Choir | April 4, 2014

Wild West Choir Kids!

This past February, the Ugandan Orphans Choir boarded a plane and headed west. But these “dudes” had no idea how far west they were going!

Desert Foothills Lutheran Church located in Scottsdale, Arizona, corralled our kids together and gave them a real Wild West experience!


DSC_0062Our Ugandan “City Slickers” receive their Cowboy duds.

DSC_0087Cowboy John tells the kids all about life on the trail.

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Posted by: Choir | March 12, 2014

Ugandan Choir Kids Turn Into Beach Bums!

Kids playing jump rope with seaweed…soft sand sifting through playful fingers…and young voices laughing and giggling at the silly romps of their friends. All these sounds mix together with those of waves crashing to shore and seagulls winging overhead.

It’s a day at the beach for our choir kids! Their first chance to experience the Pacific Ocean.

The host families of Clairmont Lutheran Church in San Diego, California, graciously made plans for the entire group to spend a lovely day at the beach. The kids learned how to use boogie boards and build sand castles.


IMG_0505[1]Jane and Deo ride the “Wild Surf!”

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Posted by: Choir | February 19, 2014

The 2014 Choir has arrived!

Choir arrives at airport

After an unexpected delay, the 2014 Ugandan Orphans Choir has finally arrived! With their first performance this Friday, the kids and leaders have a lot to do, including experiencing America for the first time! Hot dogs, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and cold cereal are some of the American meals the kids have tried so far. Along with eating unfamiliar foods, the children experienced shopping for new clothes. When asked, “Who likes their new shoes the best?” they all yelled, “ME!”

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Posted by: Choir | February 10, 2014


Due to visa difficulties, the arrival of the 2014 Ugandan Orphans Choir has been delayed.  All preparations had been made and finalized, but now a bit of red tape is holding them up from coming to America.

Can you imagine having all your bags packed, saying good-bye to friends and loved ones as you embark on the adventure of your life…only to be told you have to wait?Choir kids

The kids have worked so hard learning all their music and dances, that naturally, they are feeling a bit discouraged about this last minute setback to their planned departure date.

In the meantime, We’d like to introduce you to two other people who have their bags packed, ready to hit the road–our new choir tour leaders! We recently sat down with each of them and did a little Q&A:

Meet the New Choir Tour Leaders

Name: Richard Carey
Title: Tour Leader
From: Natchitoches, LA

Name: Alicia Womack
Title: Assistant Tour Leader
From: Hagerstown, MD

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Posted by: Choir | June 30, 2013

What am I doing on tour?

If one were to ask Childcare Worldwide what it is I do:

Likely they would explain that I am the assistant tour leader. I take care of the administrative and sponsorship related aspects of tour along with being a full-time chaperone.

If one were to ask the choir what it is that I do, one response would certainly be:

Aunt Jessica is DJ.

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Posted by: Choir | May 20, 2013


I. AM. BLESSED.  Over the past few months, I’ve found myself saying that phrase over and over again.  It has been a natural response in conversations with Pastors, host families, and audience members…but more and more, I find myself simply saying it to myself.  You see, God has placed me in a position of service to Him where I am daily surrounded by the smiles and laughter of ten amazing children, and where I am able to be a constant advocate for children all over the world.  There are moments where I’m overwhelmed with the beauty of what  God is doing in my life and through the lives of all of us with the Ugandan Orphans Choir.  In those moments, it’s that quiet whisper in my heart, “I am blessed”, that reminds me of what all of us who are blessed are called to do…we are to bless others.  And, that’s just what these 10 children are doing everyday.

So, how are you so blessed you might ask?  I’m assuming that question doesn’t include the hugs I get everyday from Joseph, Jackie, Allan, Joan, Charles, Diana, Julius, Getrude, Jafari, & Cissy.  Well, how about we start with the beauty of the sites and places we get to see as we make our way across America.  From spending the day at the Space Needle in Seattle (thanks to the amazing staff and students of the University Cooperative School), to joyfully freezing in the snow of the Cascade Mountains,  to the breathtaking landscape of Montana, and to soaking in the enormity of the faces on Mt. Rushmore (not to mention the squirrels there…just ask Joseph)…we have been so fortunate and blessed to take in the beauty and majesty of God’s creation…natural and man-made.


Space Needle!


Ohh, the JOY!


Mt. UOC!


Is that all?  Not even close.  How about the blessings we receive along our journey from people who we’ve just met, from people who cook meals for us, and from those who volunteer their services free of charge.  We can never thank Dr. Love, Dr. McKinley, Dr. Ellingson, or Dr. Reamer from Spokane, WA enough for their dental services.  Two of our boys had the pain in their teeth stopped with root canals, and all of our children had cleanings and a good start on fillings because those four dentists and their staff graciously volunteered their time and services.  Their generous hearts blessed our hearts…and teeth!


Dr. Love & Staff. Thank You!

There’s not enough room to tell you all about the blessings we receive from the families that host our choir in their homes, so I’m just going to put up a picture that expresses our gratitude and appreciation for all our host families…through the words of one of our children, Jafari.


To all our host families: God bless you for blessing us!

All of us here with the Ugandan Orphans Choir are blessed abundantly.  And our prayer is that because God has blessed us so much through His love for us and through the love He’s put in others for us, that we might be a blessing to others.  A blessing to everyone God puts in our path, and also a blessing to all the children we may never meet, but whom God has given us the special opportunity to advocate for here on tour.

I. AM. BLESSED.  We all are.  And, I thank God for all of you whom He uses to bless us along the way, and for the opportunities He gives us to bless others!

God Bless You!  :-)

-Uncle Josh

Posted by: Choir | April 2, 2013

Being taught a thing or two…

During our performance at Maplewood Presbyterian Church in Edmonds, Washington, Pastor Barry reminded us that “children are teachers.” I am blessed to be surrounded by ten great teachers!


Lessons I’ve learned from the choir..

Getrude teaches me what it really means to serve one another. She consistently is looking for ways to assist. I was very touched one day when she helped me put on my shoes. Her gentle ways and heart for service is a shining example of Christ’s love.



Jackie offers a great lesson in courage! At the beginning of the tour, she had an completely valid fear of dogs.  She has learned the role of dogs as pets in our culture and overcome her phobia in beautiful ways. She fearlessly and joyfully now takes dogs on walks. Yesterday, she even played with a 180 lb St. Bernard. Jackie is a very brave girl that when she faces her fears often finds new interests!



Joan is giving me some serious lessons in humor. I am learning that I did not know sarcasm until I met her! She is very witty and constantly making me laugh. She’s also very creative in the kitchen and one day even made us Pineapple Juice Tea. I am still uncertain if it was a legitimate recipe or if she was making it up as she went along, but the results were a very refreshing beverage and a very proud Joan of her homemade creation!



Cissy exemplifies the power of affection! She is always holding my hand or giving me hugs. These gestures are great motivators for days that can be long and tiring. Whenever she runs up and gives me a hug, I gain a new perspective and I am able to be content in the moment.


Dianah shows me that a little bit of confidence can go a long way. She is a studious young girl with a confident approach to life. With great ease, she can scramble eggs, watch over younger kids, and perform so beautifully each week! It’s quite impressive how quickly she finds a way to assert herself and become a leader in most situations.


Julius teaches me the importance of helping others carry their cross. He always appears at my side to take anything that I might have in my hands and carries it himself. He brightens my days with his smile and joy that overflows from within him.



Jafari teaches me the necessity of laughter. His giggle is so contagious and so full of life that regardless of how heavy a moment may be, if his laughter is heard, my heart is warmed. Moreover, he is a gifted artist that if I watch carefully perhaps his skill for drawing Curious George characters will rub off on me!



Joseph reminds me how crucial it is that we let one another know that we are deeply loved. His warm greetings, hugs, and using his words to inform me that he loves me provides immense peace .  He shows me the deeply profound impact of verbal affirmation.



Charles has given me many lessons on the helpfulness of watching out for one another. If I’ve misplaced my keys or dropped my hair tie, Charles will be the first to notice and make sure that it is properly returned. He’s observant and in surprising ways watching out and caring for the people and things around him.



Allan really makes me think and is encouraging me to be a lifelong learner. He is very curious and asks many questions. Rather if he is asking questions with concrete answers like “What is the tallest mountain in America?” or more subjective questions such as “What do you want to be when you grow up?”  (By the way, when he asks that question, I also answer “Aunt Jessica”.)  He teaches the importance of seeking knowledge.





Through the praise of children and infants
you have established a stronghold against your enemies,
to silence the foe and the avenger.
Psalm 8:2

In addition to my days being filled with lessons from the kids, I am blessed to learn from the rest of the staff too! Alice is the school teacher and her gift for teaching is so natural! I really appreciate learning from her particularly during our staff devotions, the way in which she shares the Gospel is extremely encouraging. Phionah, the choir director, is teaching me the Ugandan ways! In addition to enriching my life by broadening my understanding of another culture, she is also trying to teach me salsa. She’s a fantastic dance instructor which can be seen by the choirs’ performances, however, I am not the best dance student. Josh, the tour leader, has taught me a lot of Taylor Swift lyrics. Beyond his pop culture knowledge, he is a fantastic teacher in many areas. In the 34 minute lesson he gave me on how to back up the trailer, not once did he show any sort of frustration. So, in addition to me gaining some new driving skills, he taught me what it really means to be patient, encouraging, and determined.

Thanks for taking the time to read the blog. Sorry it’s taken so long for an update…obviously I’ve been busy learning some things!

Aunty Jessica

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