Members of a children's choir are shaken up and heartbroken after their tour vehicle was broken into. A thief made off with critical equipment and thousands of dollars in offerings from the latest leg of their tour.
Chantel Hertes is the Sawuti Children's Choir tour manager. She says that the seven kids and five chaperones on the tour had just finished ministering on Vancouver's streets when they stopped to get lunch.
The choir's tour vehicle was broken into in broad daylight in the parking lot. Hertes says two laptops, an iPad, and a briefcase were stolen.
That briefcase held the offering from the last few performances on Vancouver Island. Hertes says right now they are estimating that $15,000 was taken. Some of that money was in the form of cheques, but some was also cash. Sawuti is hopeful that those cheques can be cancelled and new ones issued.
However, Hertes says the briefcase also held passports from some of the chaperones, and other personal information.
The choir is made up of children from Uganda and tours to raise awareness and funds to send back to children that cannot afford to attend school. The kids range in age from eight to 15.
The show must go on
Thankfully nobody was injured in the event but understandably Hertes says everyone was quite shaken up. But despite the shake-up, everyone decided that they had to follow through with their next performance. That was just two and a half hours after the incident.
Hertes says that the kids wanted to show "that they were here in Canada for a mission to minister and bless those who come into contact with them and they would continue to do so."
The laptops contained software and music for the performances. So far they've been able to make do while they try and figure out how to replace everything.
The group heads to Kamloops, BC, on Monday, and then to Edmonton for Easter.
"Our God is in the miracle business"
Sawuti hopes to get the window repaired on the vehicle Monday.
People can make donations online.
Hertes has asked that people pray not only for continued safety and feelings of peace after this event, but to also pray that the items would be returned, "as we know our God is in the miracle business!"