The India Children's Choir
Wednesday, August 9
Baptist Temple - The Fellowship of Joy
4141 N. Fresno Street between Ashlan and Dakota
Sponsored by Bibles for the World
HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF THE HMAR PEOPLE
The people of the Hmar tribe of Northeast India were fierce headhunters. In 1910, a missionary named Watkin Roberts sent a copy of the Gospel of John to a Hmar chief. The chief invited Roberts to come and explain the Scriptures. He went despite a ban by the British Colonial government to keep him out of the area, and five young tribesmen chose to follow the Lord Jesus. These converts grew in faith and became leaders of a new and growing church. Within two generations, the entire tribe was evangelized. Headhunting stopped and hearthunting became the fervent pursuit of the people. The children of the India Children's Choir are direct descendents of those who first believed.
Background of the Musical
The heritage of Northeast India tribal peoples is rich in artistry and meaning. Their music and dance have served over the centuries as the means of communicating this heritage, since the people had no written language to preserve their history. Their music is characterized by beautiful harmony, poetic word pictures and strong visual impact.
In the musical, Headhunters to Hearthunters, the children perform the ancient Lamlam (walking dance). Formerly, the words, rhythms and gestures marked headhunting victories. But now, the children perform the Lamlam as a transition from the ancient days of darkness to the glorious light of the Gospel; the words are not of headhunting but of the victory found in Christ for all who believe:
We are marching to our eternal destiny, And the breezes of Zion refresh us. We are the children of the king, and not afraid, We will walk together joyously!
Ronald K. Wells, composer and choral clinician, and his wife Mary Jane, traveled to Northeast India with Dr. Rochunga Pudaite and ministered to the Hmar Christians. While there, God impressed him with a desire to write a children’s musical drama to tell the amazing story of how God used a single copy of the Gospel of John to change the eternal destiny of a whole tribe.
The 2006 tour of the India Children’s Choir will mark the 12th year of Mr. Well’s musical, and will also debut several songs from the choir’s upcoming new musical. Bibles For The World is honored to introduce musical composer and performer, Marc Profant. Through his artistry and talent, Marc breathes new life into the familiar but remarkable story of God’s transforming power.