The kids singing in these songs were found living in an area known as Kisenso, one of the worst slums in Africa. We came in contact with these children through our outreach to help AIDS victims. Because their parents are HIV positive, they have been rejected by their own communities and have no outside support. Originally, our outreach was to help them through school. However, we noticed that these children connected through song. Often in the slums where they were living, singing praises to the Lord was the only form of entertainment and community bonding they had. It was then our idea to create a choir for these children. Starting with five kids, the choir has grown as time goes on. God has blessed us with a talented Christian man to help these children develop their gifts. Often these children arrived to practice hungry, yet they remained faithful and committee to the activity they love. In addition to the choir, these children have also expressed a love for painting. We recently had an art exhibit of their talents in Joplin, Missouri.
The idea for the album came about one night in November, 2012, while I was speaking to a local youth minister about iTunes. The conversation led me to ask if there was a possibility he could take his recording equipment to the Congo to record these kids. Travis Montgomery, a friend from Cabool, Missouri, personally raised enough money to travel to the Congo last summer to record the children. With little funds, we couldn't find a decent facility for the recording. The recording ended up happening in a monastery in Kinshasa. These children offer up to God the only thing they have to give, their beautiful voices. This was the inspiration for the title "Take Our Gift". It is authentic African music accompanied with just a drum and a guitar. We have also added a French version of "How Great Thou Art".
The children in this choir have told us that they wanted to do something special for their community of Kisenso. Our goal is to raise enough funds through our sales of this album to build an art center in this area. The center would reach out to the impoverished and rejected children in that community. It would provide them with a place where they can learn about Jesus and redeem their creativity for the glory of the Lord. It is our dream that this place will be the spot where the Lord's light shines through into Kisenso. This was the wish of the children when we asked them. Please help us to fulfill their dream.
The album is on NoiseTrade right now. We are still working on the cover for the CDs. You can download the songs or listen to them by clicking on the link: http://noisetrade.com/starsofmwangaza/take-our-gift