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Russian children's choir praises God despite war

The sounds of music filled the air as the Trepinka Children’s Choir dazzled the student body with their singing skills during a chapel held on Mar. 14. Made up of 13 children from the Northern Caucasus region of Russia, the Trepinka Choir travels all around the world ministering to others through their singing and personal testimonies.

“The Trepinka Choir strives to introduce Jesus through their singing,” Derec Thomason, tour coordinator, said. “They sing in five different languages, but the language they really sing in is that of reconciliation.”

Each of the children in this choir comes from a war torn region of Russia, the Northern Caucasus, and each of them has been personally touched by the war. For one member, Bella Korayeva, the horrors of war have been brought home to her in a very real way.

“I love my father very much,” Korayeva, age 16, said. “One day he went out to deliver some vodka to a different city, and he disappeared. Nobody knows where he is, and he has been gone for seven years.”

Despite the great sadness and grief many choir members have experienced, they are still able to find joy and a refuge from their troubles in Christ. A great love for the music they sing gives them hope, which, in turn, they are able to share with others who are in even worse situations than they.

“Singing is my way of praising God,” Irina Belyayeva, age 16, said. “I find joy in singing for others, and just singing in itself gives me great happiness.”

Other members of the choir echo the joy Belyayeva finds in her singing.

“I love to sing about the beauty of nature, and about God,” Olga Lounichkin, age 13, said. “It is a way for me to share the glory of God with others.”

During their performance at chapel, many campus students were amazed at the talent of the Trepinka choir.

“I really enjoyed the Russian choir’s performance,” Katherine Babcock, ’04, said. “They were very talented, and it was fun to hear them sing in all the different languages.”

Some students were given a chance to interact with the choir in a much more personal way.

“I got the chance to go out to lunch with the choir,” Whitney Ensom, ’05, said. “They all spoke Russian, so at first I wasn’t able to talk to them. But after a while we started to understand each other, and I got to be good friends with a few of the girls.”

The choir came to the United States on Mar. 6, and will continue to tour the country through the rest of the month including a Mar. 17 church service at North Fresno Church.

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