When people come to see the African Children’s Choir in concert most are unaware of the impact it will have on them. The children bring a joy to people’s hearts that can’t be described in words. Their talent, energy and zest for life in the face of adversity radiates from their beaming smiles and beautiful voices. They are an inspiration to all, especially western children.
We have had many stories sent in to us about how the African Children’s Choir have inspired other children in so many ways, whether it’s to fundraise, to appreciate more, or to find out more about Africa. Today we would like to share one of those stories with you…
This is Amara…
Amara is 7 years old, she lives with her mom Alicia, dad Jody and 6 year old brother Holden in Spokane, Washington. Amara likes horses, gymnastics and helping to train the family’s boxer puppy Asha. She is a normal 7 year old girl who enjoys hiking, biking and canoeing with her family. Except to us, she is extraordinary, Amara is quite possibly the African Children’s Choir’s biggest fan and one of our youngest fundraisers.
She first saw the Choir in concert just before she turned 2 years old at Life Center Church in Spokane. Alicia, Amara’s mother recalls the experience “Amara loved music and children so we knew she would enjoy seeing the children sing and dance. God planted a seed in her heart that day that was completely beyond anything Jody and I could have imagined. Jody and I had no idea the impact that beautiful performance would have on our family for years to come”.
The family purchased our Devotion CD at the concert shop and played it when they got home. To Alicia and Jody’s surprise Amara would, every day, point to the CD player and say “Play”. The almost two year old would dance along to the sound of the Choir with joy. As she began to talk she would ask to pray for the Choir, she prayed and as the years passed she began to pray herself. Amara would pray that she would be able to be in the ACC. It was beyond her understanding why she couldn’t actually be “in” the Choir, she prayed this every day for over 2 years.
When Amara was four years old the family heard that the Choir were to return to perform at Life Center Church so they decided to very kindly host two of the Choir children from Choir 38, and Auntie Pamela, one of the tour chaperones. Amara was beyond excited about the opportunity. Alicia told us more about the experience “It truly was her dream come true. It was such an amazing experience for our family. When Amara met Auntie Pamela, it was her first exposure to the idea she could still be a part of the Choir without actually needing to be from Africa. The experience of having Ronnie, Jotham, and Auntie Pamela in our home fueled her passion for the Choir even more. We were able to travel to 5 of their concerts in our area while they were here. She continued to pray for the Choir and find ways to raise money to help the children.”
But Amara’s passion to help the African Children’s Choir didn’t stop there. For her 5th birthday party Amara had a “Journey to Africa” theme. She wanted to share all about Africa and the ACC with her friends. The family turned their backyard into a Safari theme with Passports, African themed food, and lots of pictures of her time with Choir 38. It was a huge success! Instead of bringing gifts this remarkable 5 year old asked her parents to ask the other moms and dads if the children could instead make donations to the African Children’s Choir. Of this truly selfless gesture Amara’s mom Alicia said “In some ways, Amara has always been a bit older than her age, specifically in her love and unwavering devotion to the ACC. From the time Amara was born we’ve had a core group of friends who’ve watched Amara grow. Her decision to do this came as no surprise, anyone who knew Amara knew of her tremendous love for the ACC…it’s just who she is.”
After her party Amara wanted to continue to earn money to send to the ACC so she created and started selling bracelets. She’s sold bracelets through word of mouth to friends and family. She has two different designs and has now recruited her brother Holden to help.
In October, Amara received the news she had been waiting almost 3 years for….the ACC would be returning to Spokane, Washington. Amara and her family once again hosted two girls (Merabu and Ephrance) and Auntie Lisa from Choir 41 through Life Center Church. During their time in Spokane Amara was able to attend six performances. It was another dream come true for Amara. Alicia recalled “During their short 4 days with us our hearts we overjoyed by the hope, joy, and laughter the girls brought into our home. It truly was an amazing blessing for our family.”
Most recently the family has taken on the project of supplying the children of Choir 43 with their “play shoes”. Amara and Holden decided they wanted to make sure each of the children in Choir 43 has a pair of shoes to run, play and just be a kid. They sent a letter to friends and family for Christmas asking they consider purchasing shoe gift cards in lieu of gifts.
We are in awe of Amara here at Music for Life, and think she is a very special girl indeed. She has even inspired some of our own staff to ask for donations from family in lieu of gifts. We want to extend a very warm thank you to Amara and her family for all the support they have given us. We think Amara is a true inspiration, her kind heart and giving nature are a blessing to the African Children’s Choir.
Inspired by Amara? Find out how you can help raise funds for the African Children’s Choir too.