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India Children’s Choir to spread their message to Glenwood

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In 1910, a Welsh Christian missionary broke the law and traveled to northern India, where missionaries were forbidden to go. The bold missionary, Watkin Roberts, succeeded in converting four members of the Hmar tribe to the Christian faith.On Sunday, 22 children – descendants of those original converts – appear at the Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Glenwood Springs to perform Roberts’ story, as told in the musical “Headhunters to Heart Hunters.””This tribe was some of the most feared headhunters in the region, and today their descendants are 98 percent Christian,” said Daniel Easton, who works with Bibles For the World, the group that organizes and sponsors the Indian children’s’ trip to the United States.

Since Roberts’ trip in the early years of the 20th century, other Christian missionaries have furthered his initial mission. One of the most influential has been Dr. Rochunga Pudaite, himself a descendant of the Hmar tribe. Pudaite founded Bibles for the World in 1979, translated the entire Bible from English to Hmar, and built a number of Christian schools throughout northeastern India.It is these schools from which a small group of musically talented students, ages 9-12, are pooled each year by instructors for an annual U.S. musical tour. Eventually, the pool is narrowed from several hundred to around 20, comprising the India Children’s Choir. The children, each year a different set of singers, have been performing the same musical and story since it was written in 1989. Each year, the selection of students travel to the U.S., to Colorado Springs, where Bibles For the World is based, and from there they set out on a 10-month tour that reaches churches and schools across the country.”We’re traveling to roughly 27 states this year,” said Easton, who also travels with the choir. Easton said so far this year, they’ve performed in Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, New York, and Ohio.

According to Bibles for the World’s website, http://www.bftw.org, the tour is “our way of saying, ‘thank you, partners-in-faith.'”The children’s personal interaction with the crowd is what Easton loves about touring with the choir.”It feels like they’re singing directly to you,” he said. “At one point, all the kids go out into the audience and give everyone a hug, and often there’s not a dry eye in the room.”



The concert takes place at 7 p.m. Sunday at Holy Cross Lutheran Church. Admission is free.Contact John Schroyer: 945-8515, ext. 529jschroyer@postindependent.com


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