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Precious in his sight
Children of the World International Choir comes here
Gregory A. Summers
Those who think children should be seen and not heard have never met Chiman. From Nepal, he likes to play basketball and has aspirations of being a scientist one day.
They haven’t met Irene, either. She hopes to turn her love of singing into a career as a music teacher in her native Philippines.
Once you meet them, Roy Cross said you will be swayed. And you will have the chance to meet them this weekend.
Both are orphans and members of the Children of the World International Children’s Choir which will perform 6 p.m. Sunday at Second Baptist Church.
Sunday, Nov. 6, is Orphan Sunday and part of National Adoption Month. The importance of making sure that orphans like Chiman and Irene have a chance to be everything God created them to be is something that Cross, a father of seven, understands well.
He, and his wife, Lori, have adopted four Chinese children with special needs since 2003. Amanda is 11, Jaden is 9, Jasmine is 4 and Aaron is 4. And two more children – a 10 year old and a 3 year old – will join the Cross family early next year.
“Being a dad is the greatest blessing in the world,” Cross said. “Nothing else is even close.”
If you want to see a blended family in action, just show up at the Cross home about supper time.
“Meals are definitely a learning process for us,” he said. “We’re homeschooling and right now, we’re learning about each state and are cooking food from each one,” he said, laughing. “The food’s pretty good, too.”
For 12 years, the International Children’s Choir traveled the United States to put a voice and face to the desperate needs of those who can’t speak for themselves, Cross said. These are orphaned and disadvanatged children whose lives have been devastated by civil war, poverty, unsanitary living conditions and preventable diseases.
According to World Help, which sponsors the choir, 29,000 children will die today from preventable diseases – pneumonia, malaria, diarrhea, malnutrition and a lack of clean water.
For Cross, the choir, which includes children from Uganda, Nepal and the Philippines, tell a story that can only be shared by them since they are among the more than 143 million orphans worldwide.
“These are kids, not just numbers,” Cross said. “Scripture teaches us when we see a need, we’re supposed to do something about it.
“If every Christian family adopted one child, just think of the difference it would make and the lives it would touch,” he said.
On Sunday, the choir will share their stories through song, testimonies and a video presentation from their home countries.
“How can you not help when you see these children who are victims of situations they had nothing to do with?” Cross asked. “Once you see, meet them and talk to them, you will understand. You will see the beauty in them and what God wants for them.”