When 18 children from Africa arrive in Dell Rapids this month, it will be a full circle experience for Baltic’s Heidi Moen. Four years ago, when the African Children’s choir first performed in Dell Rapids, it changed her life.
In June 2012, a group of children from Uganda performed at River Community Church in Dell Rapids. Heidi attended that event and learned about the organization sponsoring not only those children, but hundreds of others to improve their lives, and provide them an education through university level in Africa. She joined dozens of others at that concert who learned how these children are chosen from the most impoverished backgrounds, selected and trained to perform concerts throughout the country, and receive an education because of being chosen. The various choirs have toured North America, the United Kingdom and Australia. Being selected for a choir is equivalent to an African child winning a golden ticket for themselves, their family and their community.
At that concert in 2012, Heidi fell in love with the mission of the choir that showed the potential and the beauty of the African child. Shortly after that night, she went on a mission trip to Africa she had already planned with her church in Dells. She couldn’t get the African Children’s Choir off her mind, so she applied to be a volunteer chaperone. ACC chaperones guide the children through concerts, supervise, teach, and disciple their choir children 24/7 through months of their group’s tour. They stay at host homes, and help the children through every experience they encounter as they travel.
Heidi spent 13 months traveling with Choir 41 from Arizona to Alaska. “It was such a joy to see America through the eyes of these children who had so much joy in every little moment.” Heidi served that choir as Math Teacher and Sound & Lighting Technician. After being home from tour only 2 months, she couldn’t stay away. She left to tour with her 2nd choir, Choir 44, in August of 2015. This time she was the Tour Leader, and traveled the country from New York to Texas, ending her tour for the 2nd time in the U.K.
Heidi has arrived home just in time to welcome Choir 45 to Dell Rapids – coming to the same church where she experienced the choir for the first time four years ago.
African Children’s Choir (Choir 45) will perform at 7pm Friday, Sept. 23 at River Community Church in Dell Rapids; AND will perform at 9:30am Sunday, Sept. 25, at Heidi’s home church, Dell Rapids Reformed Church.
“My church and the community of Dell Rapids have been so supportive of me going on tour. I’m so excited to share the African Children’s Choir with them and for my community to experience these amazing children and the ministry I’ve been involved with for the last 2-1/2 years.”
“Touring with the African Children’s Choir has made me more patient, and taught me to take life as it comes. The children live day by day, and live joyfully in the moment. If I can learn anything from my time with them, it would be to live in every moment when it’s happening, and find joy in each day.”