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'Signs and Wonders'

By Blair Yankey - byankey@perutribune.com

The Watoto Children’s Choir is headed back to Peru.

A group of 18 Ugandan orphans, the group will make their third appearance at Peru on Tuesday, May 23, at the St. John’s Lutheran Church as a part of a six-month U.S. tour.

Their concert, called “Signs and Wonders,” will feature new worship songs that share children’s dramatic stories and the hope they have because of God’s love.

Peggy Coppler, event coordinator and a parishioner at St. John’s Lutheran Church, said the Watoto Choir has performed in Peru every other year since 2013 and always offers a lively, exciting and spiritual show. She said their past two performances have drawn hundreds of attendees.

“The quality of their production is very high tech and very professionally done,” Coppler said. “It’s a very exciting show and the children are adorable.”

The Watoto Children’s Choir has traveled internationally since 1994 as ambassadors for the millions of children in Africa, orphaned as a result of HIV/AIDS, war and poverty. The ministry has cared for more than 4,000 orphaned and vulnerable children since it was established.

Each child in the choir has suffered the loss of one or both of their parents, but they’ve been rescued and now live in a Watoto village. Watoto is a holistic child-care solution initiated to serve the dire needs of the people of Africa, according to the ministry’s website.

Coppler said what’s unique about the choir is that every one of the kids in the village gets a chance to go on tour – not just the strongest performers. 

“They want them to get out and see the world outside of where they live, and then when they go back, another group of children get to go on the tour,” she said.

Coppler said the children are raised as strong Christian leaders in their country. According to the Watoto website, many have gone on to become lawyers, teachers, computer scientists, journalists, farmers and doctors.

“I really like the Watoto because of the mission that it does and how it helps people – it’s just a creative idea,” Coppler said. “The gift of music transcends cultures and it’s a way for people to benefit that hear them and learn about their culture, and it’s a way for them to benefit by getting into the bigger world outside their culture.”

The concert is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the church located at 181 W. Main St. and is free and open to the public.